An annual summer event for the Cretin Derham Hall dance team, Just For Kix Camp is the perfect opportunity for the dancers to continue growing and developing during the off-season.
During this four-day overnight camp in Brainerd, dance teams from all over the state are combined and have the chance to train together. Ranging from middle schoolers to seniors, there were a total of 18 dancers for the CDH dance team who decided to attend this camp. As these dancers stay in a hotel for three nights together, it is a great bonding experience. Every individual is included and the ninth graders have a unique experience to be integrated into the CDH team before the school year begins.
“Being around my whole team and knowing they all support me really pushed me to challenge myself with my classes because I knew that whatever happened with the classes and performances, my team would be there after to support me and make me feel good,” said Cailin Ryan '25.
Each individual present shares a passion for dance which creates a fun environment for all to be a part of. Every dancer is constantly pushed to challenge themselves and be inspired by others.
“JFK camp is truly a gift to our team! Dancers get this opportunity to learn from other dancers around the state, as well as bond and become incredibly close as teammates,” said Fall Performance Team Coach Alison.
On the first day, each dancer chose three classes to take. The selections include kick, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, musical theater, street jazz, and more. Within each of these styles there are levels ranging from beginner through elite so there truly is a class for everyone. Every day the dancers wake up excited to dance the day away and meet new people within their classes. At the end of the day, the team gets to go back to their hotel and splash around in the water park together.
The CDH dance team was honored to have multiple dancers receive awards during their time at camp. Senior captain Olivia Hunt '22 placed top three in improv and I, senior captain Julianne Mason '22, placed top three in leaps. Ryan received the Rising Star award, Hunt received the Most Outstanding Dancer award, and I received the firecracker award.
“Nothing inspires my love of dance more than the four days I get to spend at JFK camp each year. I love bonding with my team, trying new things, pushing myself, learning from some of the best dancers in the country, and meeting new friends. It’s really hard to believe that this year was my last at JFK, but I hope the younger girls on my team have as much fun as I did on their future Brainerd trips,” concluded Hunt.
Julianne Mason '22 is a Communications Apprentice. She holds leadership positions on both the Dance Team and the Track Team. In addition to sports, Julianne also is part of the ambassadors club, student council volunteer core, National Honors Society, and also has a marketing internship with Amerigo. She is excited to help write and share intriguing stories for the CDH community.