Spark Tank Grant Recipient Spotlight: Nimitz High School Kings Dance Crew - Monsters Dance Convention
During the 2021-2022 school year, the Kings Dance Crew was established in the 2017-2018 school year at Nimitz High School. The crew is a 5th year varsity dance organization at Nimitz and masters the hip hop dance style. During the fall semester, the crew participates in pep rallies and football games while in the spring semester, contests and showcases are pursued to promote character, leadership, and school spirit amongst the members of the dance team.
The Kings visited the Spark Tank Committee at the Irving ISD Administration Building last March. Spark Tank is the Irving Schools Foundation adaptation of the show “Shark Tank,” where Irving ISD staff and employees are invited to propose innovative ideas for funding to a special committee composed of ISF board members and program sponsors. This competitive grant program awards funds for innovative, enriching, and out-of-the-ordinary classroom projects and learning experiences for students of all ages across Irving ISD. Previous projects and experiences funded include grants for band and orchestra outings, grants for special education classroom equipment, grants for STEM based activities off campus, and many more!
Once a Spark Tank application is submitted and reviewed, the group is invited to present to the committee, followed by questions and comments. Most decisions take place immediately after the presentation and grant recipients are surprised with the funds.
This was the case for the Kings Dance Crew.
The Kings arrived in formation and delivered an impressive presentation. In addition to their speeches and slideshow, they showed the committee their talents with a full hip hop choreography! In their blue uniforms, they took over the building’s atrium with intensity, power, and spirit. To further enhance their skills and exhibit their abilities outside the classroom, the Kings visited the committee in search of a grant to attend the MONSTERS Dance Convention.
The Kings arrived in formation and delivered an impressive presentation. In addition to their speeches and slideshow, they showed the committee their talents with a full hip hop choreography! In their blue uniforms, they took over the building’s atrium with intensity, power, and spirit.
To further enhance their skills and exhibit their abilities outside the classroom, the Kings visited the committee in search of a grant to attend the MONSTERS Dance Convention. At the end of their presentation, the Kings showed why their hard work and dedication was worthy of an incredible opportunity such that of the MONSTERS Dance Convention.
They revealed that as a low cost dance team, they didn’t have the resources to fund further events outside of their successful football and competition season. A motion to grant the requested amount was made. With no opposition, the motion passed.
The Kings were awarded $18,294.70!
The dance convention took place in May, marking one last memorable experience before summer vacation for the crew, especially on the lives of the dancers who were graduating seniors. Among them, Sr. Lieutenant, Jessica Landry, describes the fun she had attending.
She says, “At convention we took master classes with professional choreographers while also being able to see a wide variety of styles among the people [we] danced with. My favorite part about convention was the dance battles. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much because I never really watched them, but seeing them in person with amazing dancers was truly an astounding experience.”
She experienced the self-fulfillment that the MONSTERS Dance Convention is all about. Jessica first joined the Kings her sophomore year and climbed up to a leadership position along the way. She stepped out of her comfort zone throughout her time in the crew but learned valuable lessons in exchange. “I would have never thought about going [to the convention] by myself, and being able to go with my team made the experience a lot better.”
Jessica Landry was also one of the 100+ ISF scholarship recipients! Awarded the Forever a Bulldog Scholarship presented by John Haley Elementary School, Jessica plans to attend the University of Texas at Arlington to pursue a career in nursing and may even try out for the dance team, too!
We are so proud of the accomplishments that the Nimitz HS Kings Crew was able to fulfill this school year. The ISF team can’t wait to see what is next for them and their alumni! Congratulations!