Hi, I’m Rick, a marching band leader.
And I’m Courtney, a dance/cheer squad leader.
We’re here to share how the Valero Alamo Bowl game has changed our squads forever!
Courtney: Yeah, when I signed my cheerleaders up for the Valero Alamo Bowl, they were over-the-moon excited, and I confess—I was, too. But little did I know all the ways bowl would change them—I mean on and off the field! And FAR beyond just their skills and performance!
Rick: Me, too. Ironically, the performance boost was just the beginning for my band. …Courtney and I have been talking about this together, and here’s our “hidden benefits” list, for directors like us. Read on, and we predict you’re going to be seeing the Valero Alamo Bowl in your dreams. It’s simply the best!
Confidence, anyone? We agreed that our teams’ skill levels were pretty sharp when we registered for the event. So we figured they’d be able to handle the pressure with only a healthy amount of stretch, and they did. What we were delightfully surprised about, though, was the new sense of POISE they brought home with them—onstage, on-field, in the classroom—everywhere! They told us their sense of accomplishment from playing and dancing in front of the crowd of 60,000 screaming fans left them with a unanimous takeaway: “If I can do this, boy, I can do pretty much anything I set my mind to!”
How about a skills makeover? ….professional band coaches and star choreographers—hey, we saw it happen with our own eyes: Our students got in front of their professional coaches at the event—in a new place—with huge visibility—a grand, looming bowl debut, and—VOILA! …They could now almost magically perform with ease what they’d been struggling with at home. Sometimes all it takes is hearing a correction from someone else, and it clicks. Believe us, it raises the bar on your team—instantly. And that bar stays up there, even months after you’ve come home!
Discipline +. Persistence + Travel Experience= Maturity upgrade! From the moment we announced the trip to the day we returned, we were blown away by how motivated the students were. They held fundraisers on the weekends, practiced like champs during the week, and they did all this while we were upping their practice schedule, throwing tougher routines at them, and expecting them to give 100%—every single time. That was a real maturing process—sort of like a boot camp. We were ready for the Valero Alamo Bowl by the time we got there, definitely!
School pride galore! We were so proud to see our teams turn into enthusiastic ambassadors for our schools. The way the event was set up, they got to meet and mingle with band and dance/cheer peers from all over the country. Swap stories, chill out together, celebrate together—it was like one big pep rally. They made new friends, and they came home with a new appreciation for our school, too. …WIN, WIN in our books.
All in all, you might say the Valero Alamo Bowl has helped our two squads define their performance goals, ask more from themselves, and really value their work with new enthusiasm. We’re also psyched about the educational value of going to an exciting new city and challenging ourselves to new personal bests. We really appreciate WorldStrides Onstage for helping us make it happen, too. From arranging the travel plans to getting our kids and their gear where it needed to be, to making practices seamless and fun—we couldn’t have done it without them!
What’s next, you might ask?
WorldStrides, headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., is the largest educational student travel company in the United States. The company was founded in 1967 and has grown to provide educational programs for more than 400,000 students annually from more than 5,000 K12 schools and universities to over 100 countries around the world. It was the first company of its kind to achieve academic accreditation from regional bodies around the U.S. For more information on WorldStrides, visit www.worldstrides.com.