“Very excited.”

Those were the words Valerie Plaetz of Redwood Falls used to describe the feeling she had when it was announced she and 27 other local dancers would be traveling to Tampa, Fla. next year to perform during the Outback Bowl, which is a college football game played Jan. 1 of each year.

The dancers are part of the Just For Kix® program in Redwood Falls, and it was announced earlier this summer that the program instructor, Ann Vote, had decided to take the group of local dancers to the event.

According to Erica Plaetz, Valerie’s mom and one of the coordinators of the fundraising for the trip, the families will leave in late December and will spend several days in Tampa enjoying the area and taking in the festivities as part of the Outback Bowl.

Any Redwood Falls Just For Kix® dancer who is currently in first grade through 11th grade and who are enrolled in the local dance program in 2018-19 is eligible to make the trip. The Redwood Falls dancers will join other Just For Kix® groups who come from across the U.S. to perform at halftime of the college football game. 

Prior to the performance, the dancers will gather together to rehearse the dance that will be performed, but the trip also includes the chance to visit Clearwater Beach, Busch Gardens and Disney/Universal.

The local dancers will need to raise more than $60,000 to make the trip, and they started raising funds in September. Several fundraising efforts have already been conducted, with more coming.

One of those fundraisers is being held Dec. 15 when the Redwood Falls Just For Kix® dancers present their winter show. That day from 12-3 p.m. a bake sale is being held in the Redwood Valley Middle School/High School gym with items for sale before and after the show.

In October, the dancers sold walking tacos during the Francois Haunted Hotel event and recently held a sheet sale, with another sale scheduled for April.

According to Corrine Gertsema, the Just For Kix® dancers are not just raising funds they are giving back to the community as part of those events. She said, as an example, the dancers provided games for kids during Monsters on Main.

Other fundraising events that will be happening in the coming months include:

• A Diva Ball Feb. 9, which will be a time for gentlemen to bring the little ladies in their life out for a night of fancy food, fun and dancing.

• A Fall Festival princess camp The dancers will also be participating in summer community festivals and parades.

One can learn more about the 2019 trip to the Outback Bowl, upcoming fundraisers and Redwood Falls Just For Kix® on its Facebook page.