If you saw a costumed high schooler near Woodfill Elementary School in Novemer, it wasn't just someone late for Halloween. Snow White, Cinderella, Anna, Captain America, Superman, and Spiderman all joined forces to support the Highlands Varsity Dance Team for a Breakfast with Princesses and Superheroes. The event was created to help raise funds for the dance team's upcoming trip to Orlando for National's.
Tina Reynolds, a fourth grade teacher at Woodfill Elementary and mother of a senior dance team member, was instrumental in planning the event. “The idea started as one more way of trying to come up with a fundraiser. We were trying to think outside the box, and think of something that hadn't been done before,” said Reynolds. With over 70 attendees at the event, the team was able to raise funds needed for the trip while also creating lasting memories for those at the breakfast.
Senior dance team member Ellie Farley was happy to step into Cinderella's glass slippers for the breakfast. “I think the best part was seeing the kids faces when they saw us because I think they really did believe that we were the princesses that we dressed up as. It was really cool just seeing them get really excited and staring up at us with awe,” said Farley.
Since it wouldn't be a princess party without someone from Frozen showing up, senior Megan Reynolds took on the role of Anna for the day. It's no surprise that the young attendees were happy to spend time with one of their favorite princesses. “Even though it was something for us, I felt like it was more for them when we were there because of the sheer happiness on their faces,” said Megan Reynolds.
The breakfast would not have been complete without the help of some student-athletes transforming into superheroes for the day. Highlands student Evan Richardson traded in his football uniform for Captain America's iconic costume in order to support the dance team. Like Farley, Richardson enjoyed seeing the kids' excitement over their favorite princesses and superheroes. “My favorite part was the fact that the kids bought the act that I was Captain America. You could just tell that they thought that it was pretty cool that Captain America would show up to a breakfast,” said Richardson. He also enjoyed interacting with the kids during the breakfast and playing games with them.
Having other athletes support the dance team's fundraiser by working the event meant a lot to the team members. “To me, it really just shows their character through the way they wanted to help us even though it wasn't a fundraiser for the football team or the soccer team,” said Megan Reynolds. “It's just nice to see that we have support from all groups in the high school.”
Also, it didn't hurt that the superheroes kept not only the attendees, but also the princesses entertained. “My favorite costumes were probably all of the boys because it was funny to see all of them get out of their shells once they put the costumes on, and just to see them embody those characters was pretty hysterical,” said Megan Reynolds.
There were many memorable moments throughout the breakfast, but one in particular was when attendees first saw the princesses and superheroes that would be spending the morning with them. “The moment that sticks out the most was when we had our introduction on stage, and each one of the characters came out and did their little skit. Just seeing all the kids faces light up was probably one of the things that stuck out the most,” said Richardson.
For seniors like Megan Reynolds and Farley, the trip to Orlando will be especially memorable. “I'm looking forward to it being my last hurrah since it's my last year, and a way to just finish off my senior year and the last six years of dance team with a bang. And hopefully placing highly and just having a fun time with all the girls.” It's clear from speaking with team members that the group is more than an extracurricular activity. They genuinely care for one another, and have worked to cultivate a positive and supportive atmosphere among team members. “We really do create a family,” said Farley. “Each year that I'm on the team, we all work together for the same goals and we just really respect each other. Even though we're all from different friend groups, we all get along. Erin's a really great coach, and she helps us be a team and a family.”
This breakfast serves as another testament to the generosity of the Fort Thomas community. “It's really nice because we pay for a lot of stuff throughout the year, and so it ends up being really expensive. We don't want to discourage anyone from being on the team because of the money issue, so it's nice that we have fundraisers that can help everyone be able to go on a trip like that. We all were really into our characters, and I think it's nice that everyone was there to support us,” said Farley.