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Kicking up their heels

Fit For The King Flyers unites dancers
from different schools

The group performs at ballgames, competitions

By Amy Casebier
Contributing Writer

(December 2007) – What does it take for 13 girls from different schools to let the beat bring them together? Time, practice and a lot of teamwork.

Fit For The King Flyers

Photo by Amy Casebier

The Flyers practice one of their
routines in preparation for performing
at local high school basketball games.

The Fit For The King Flyers is a local competitive dance team that features the best female dancers from area high schools. The majority of high schools in the surrounding area do not have dance teams, Heather Foy, the team’s director and coach, said.
The Flyers draw dancers from different high schools in the area to make up the team. There are 13 girls on the team, seven of which are seniors. All of the dancers are in the high school age range, which is necessary for their competition division.
This is the sixth season for the team, which formed in fall 2002. The team performs at local high school and college basketball games about seven or eight times per season. Their first appearance will be at the Carroll County versus Trimble County boys’ basketball game on Nov. 29.
“The schools appreciate it,” Foy said. “It helps attendance at games.”
The Flyers will perform in three or four competitions this season in addition to performances at local sporting events. The first competition is Dec. 8 in Indianapolis, while the other two are in Cincinnati. The fourth competition will be in Kissimmee, Fla., depending on the team’s funds.
Most of the team’s dance routines fall under pom, jazz and funk style. However, this year, they have added a hip hop routine to their performances.
“The girls have been asking for the last couple of years,” Foy said. “It’s a crowd favorite. There’s a lot of hip shaking, but we’re more tasteful. It’s got to be age appropriate.”
Although Foy does the team’s choreography, she brought in an outside choreographer for the hip hop routine.
The Flyers practice twice a week for several hours at a time but still have some difficulties remaining competitive with similar teams.
“We’re not a year-round program,” Foy said. “We’re not as polished as other teams.”
The Flyer’s season lasts for eight months, beginning in August and ending in February or March.
Foy’s husband, Mike, exacted a promise from her that if she did coach a competitive dance team that it not be year-round. The Foys have two young children.
Another disadvantage for the team besides a shortened season is the lack of dance studios in and near Madison, Ind. Few team members joining the Flyers have studio experience.
Many of the girls cheerlead or play sports for their respective high schools. While the athleticism helps with staying in shape for the dance team, scheduling performances at local basketball games that everyone can attend is difficult, Foy said.
However, these challenges do not completely keep the team from being a competitive force in their division.
“We bring home a lot of trophies,” Foy said. During a Super Jam competition in Dayton, Ohio, the Flyers won not only their division, but were overall grand champions of the competition.
While the nutritional, athletic and other health benefits are an important part for the dancers on the team, Foy does not believe that they are the biggest benefits of being a part of the Flyers, she said.
“It’s the team concept,” Foy said. “It’s working with girls from different schools. They’re not friends with girls from rival schools, but here they’re cheering each other on.”
Olivia Ralston, a senior who attends Madison Consolidated High School, is in her fourth and final season on the Flyers. She joined during her freshman year due to her older sister, Zoe, being a part of the team.
Her favorite part about being a Flyer is the camaraderie, she said.
“We get along really well,” said Olivia, 17. “We hang out outside of practice.”
The most challenging part of the team for Olivia is the stamina that the routines require, along with getting back into shape after the summer, she said.
“Heather’s a really good coach,” Olivia said. “She knows we all have our problems. I feel like she’s one of us. If we’re running 10 laps, she’s running with us.”
Foy cheered and danced for the University of Louisville until she graduated in 1996. She started dancing during her senior year when she had back problems and could not tumble as much on the cheerleading squad.

• For more information about the Fit For The King Flyers, visit www.fitfortheking.com/gpage6.html. For any female dancers interested in becoming a Flyer, contact Heather Foy via email at hnfoy@yahoo.com.

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