Stephanie Work, director and coach of Sioux City Just for Kix, says the team of 35 kids between 2nd and 12th grade started raising funds for the travel expenses eight months ago.
“We did many fundraisers throughout the summer. We did a waffle breakfast and then a soup dinner in the fall. The kids sold frozen foods, cupcakes, and so many other items,” Work said. “We also made t-shirts with sponsors on the back. I think we had over 200 sponsors, so just to have our Siouxland community come together and get these kids to the Outback Bowl – it was just tremendous.”
The Siouxland troupe will join dancers from across the country on the football field to perform routines before the game and at halftime.
“Anywhere from 450 to 500 dancers will be on the field,” Work said. “That’s not counting the bands that will be on the field too performing the music we’ll be dancing to. I can’t even tell you how many band members there are, probably around a thousand.”
The dancers received the choreography for the performances just after Thanksgiving. Work believes seven or eight of the girls on the Siouxland National Dance Team were part of the team that previously performed at the Outback Bowl three years ago. Those dancers are helping calm the nerves of some of the younger team members.
“They are kind of telling everybody what it’s like, that it is a big crowd but also, once you get out there, you’ll do great,” Work said. Most the dancers from Iowa are planning to arrive in Florida this Thursday and return home on January 3.
While the highlight of the trip will be the bowl game performance, there will be time for side trips and fun in the sun.
“We also get to go on a dinner cruise. They get to go to Disney World or Universal Parks and Busch Gardens. We also go to Clearwater Beach one of the days,” Work said.
The Outback Bowl will pit Michigan against South Carolina. The kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. (CST) on January 1. The game will be televised by ESPN2.