• Mickey Fridley

"The Creeps Come Out at Night"

Hey all it's finally here! My favorite month of the year! Halloween is upon us and I get super excited as I have always done about one of my most favorite holiday's we celebrate! Why? I have no idea but I've been this way since I was little. I'm assuming it's because of the thrill of getting one day out of the year to DRESS UP & PRETEND to be something your not normally in life. But; I really think what I love most is the crisp fall air, the football games, halftime shows (which by the way super impressed by some of our local High School Dance Teams this season! Shout out to Osage City & Mission Valley by far 2 of the best in Osage County I've seen so far this year!) Any Hoot... I love the mystical and haunting of what makes Halloween - Creepy and Spooky and all around just yummy fun! I knew this month was going to be crazy busy for us at the Dance Studio especially since we've been swamped with even more Pearl Company Dancers and because of this; yes! I'm the idiot that started decorating their house 2 weeks prior to October!

Some of the decorations I have for Halloween are old memories of our dance studio - hard to believe but one of our original traditions we have done since I first opened up the studio back in October of 2009 was to host a HAUNTED HOUSE as a fun pre-season kick off team bonding activity and fundraiser. We would transform the dance studio into a creepy nightmare of scary scenes and for the most part each year we got creepier and better and it grew to becoming one of the greatest things we did as a dance family every season. However, after we moved the original studio from Scranton to Burlingame that tradition quickly became harder to maintain and promote. Our last year we hosted one; we were proud that we had encouraged many local others to get into the haunting fun by hosting their own haunted trails around our local small town area but; unfortunately it became increasingly harder to get dancers to come out and participate; let alone be worth the time for those that did. We lost quite a bit of traffic that last year to the other haunted competition and financially it really wasn't worth it any longer. Our parents spent more on making the haunted house; than we made from the sales for our dance families. Even though I was quite bummed out that we would no longer would be hosting our own Haunted House I was determined to keep that spooky tradition alive somehow for our studio! That's when my daughters came up with the plan of taking any dancers who were brave enough to Worlds of Fun for their Halloween Haunt. I loved this idea! We still get to do something fun as a dance family that bonds us through the fun of screams of terror and the best part we didn't have to set up or clean up from the haunting fun! I hated to do the clean up part of our haunted houses! Set up was a blast but clean up! UGH! Yucky!

Some of those great memories from our original days at The Dance spot when we provided the spooks! Getting one of our dance dads and moms to fire up that chain saw and chase the screaming kids out the front door. POPCORN, WALKING TACOS, APPLE CIDER AND HOT COCOA! Last but not least for me it was a special time because it was memories I got to share with my very own kids Billy, Maddie and Courtney. Also hosting a fun Teen Dance where kids from all over Osage County would come for a fun night of safe family fun dancing and good times. We also threw one year a winter formal snowball dance and decorated the studio up into a winter wonderland where the kids came dressed up in formal attire and even picked a snowball king and queen. Lots of fun! But once my kids got older then they had their own school dances to attend and putting one on at the studio became in their eyes as "Lame" and for "Little Kids".

So what was the first time at WOF Halloween Haunt really like? Confusing. Not really sure where to go; what to do next and we went early in the morning so it was also super tiring! Now we have figured out that going in the later part of the afternoon is much better for the long ride back home as the theme park is a good 2 hours away and as tradition has it - we still have dance practice for our competition dancers the next day. So cutting down on our exhaustion time was essential!! We did have fun figuring out which rides to hit first at the park as a group and which rides to avoid due to time constraints. We also figured out which haunted mazes to get in line for as soon as the sun goes down! CORNSTALKERS has by far become our most favorite haunted maze to date! Check out the heeeeelarious time we had last year!

So as we get closer to what will become our 4th official trip to worlds of fun for their Halloween Haunt - I'm curious what kind of traditions do you do at your dance studio? This is usually the time of year when studios are picking their Big Sisters & Little Sisters for the season; working hard on their competition choreography; planning their first recitals or performances for the year; attending dance conventions or workshops (which by the way we are going too as well in two weeks). I'm just curious are we the only dance studio that does something this CREEPY or WACKY every year? Well if we were I wouldn't be surprised - pretty much everything we do and what we stand for is so out of the box of NORMAL for a dance studio so freaking out our dancers with a night full of terror really doesn't surprise me at all - and if you know who we are and what our studio is like; does it really surprise you either? NOPE! Once again - OUR STUDIO setting the barre (bar) to creating a dance family environment that can't be matched by any and probably one more reason why our dancers feel so family close - moments like these! There isn't one dancer that hasn't come through our studio at one time or another that didn't get the fun of scaring someone or having their whits scared straight out of them! YES! It breaks up the monotony of choreography time and it's funny but; scared moments like this brings new kids into the fold better than any other team bonding event can! Well at least it makes our dance season a little more bearable for each other as they remember if I can get the beejeezzus scared out of me with you by my side then dancing at a competition where we are just as nervous will be a breeze! You would think, "wow! She's really psychologically trying to find ways to bring these dancers together on a whole other level" - NOPE! I just love Halloween and watching kids get scared during haunted houses especially (MY KIDS! Coach Courtney & Coach Maddie) make it worth it all!

So go ahead Dance Teams & Dance Studios - take the freaky leap and try something fun like this with your dance family! I'm telling you spending a night at a haunted house or making your own event is so much fun and the memories - they last forever! Thank goodness we have our YouTube Channel to share those moments too! Check out our first Haunted House Video from our 2011 season at the Scranton Studio:

And for our Dance Families here you go our first time at Worlds of Fun and the highest viewed video on our YouTube Channel has over 50,000 views! :0) Guess there are a lot of people that love Halloween as much as we do!

Hope you have a great Halloween this season!


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