Student Travel - A Dance Team experiences Los Angeles
I am still feeling the southern CA sun on my face as I settle back into my daily routing in PA. I just had a great trip to Los Angeles with a high school dance team as their Tour Manager. The directors had spent months in conjunction with us here at PPT planning the perfect blend of educational and entertainment activities in the Los Angeles area. There were a lot of pieces that came together beautifully to make this such a great trip! The dance team did a great job fundraising so that the cost of the trip was easily attainable, they learned some amazing routines and came ready to soak up everything Los Angeles has to offer.
We started each morning with the ever awesome Embassy Suites breakfast! There is always something for every student group tours at their buffet, from bagels to a made to order omelet station - so that we jumped on our bus each day ready and raring to go! On our first day together we got right into the spirit of the life of the stars by having a terrific local step-on guide who would tell us all about Hollywood and Beverly Hills. It’s amazing to think of how simply Marilyn’s house seems by comparison to her huge personality. The students were all talking about all the little bits of gossip or facts they had learned on the tour while we ate lunch at the Farmer’s Market. After some free time checking out all the booths at the Farmer’s Market it was time to head over to their first master class at the Millennium Dance Complex. This was really what they were here to do - dance. And dance they did!! They worked so hard and the instructor was so inspiring we were all surprised at how quickly the time passed. The directors were just amazed at the way the team clicked in the newly learned routine and spent a good deal of time on the bus afterwards talking to the dancers about how they could apply what they had learned to their current performance routine. Dinner and some free time for shopping made for a perfect end to the day.
Up early the next day to head to Disneyland for their Magic Music Days performance! They did an outstanding job and really got the crowd on their side right from the start! They were so excited about how professionally they had been treated from the moment they arrived backstage at Disney Land. They all agreed it was worth every penny, every minute of practice and every sore muscle to have it all come together in the performance. After that it was fun, fun, fun with Mickey and friends as we spent the rest of our day in the park.
Our last full day in sunny California started off bright and warm! We headed to Grauman’s Chinese Theater for a tour of the area including the Kodak Theater, where the Oscars are held each year. We took lots of funny pictures with the famous handprints - more smiles and laughs than even with Mickey the day before! There was free time for the students to wander the Walk of Fame a bit more and grab some lunch before heading to the Edge Performing Arts Center next round of master classes. These sessions were even more intense than the day before and the students also had the option to join in an open dance class. This was a really neat experience as they were able to interact with local dancers of various ages and learn a lot about what was happening in Los Angeles for dancers. We all left amid the dancers practically floating on air from the opportunity. As we headed over to the Santa Monica Pier for beach time and later dinner, the students and instructors agreed they had learned more than they had hoped for. The students especially felt really encouraged that they had received so much positive reinforcement from the various dance instructors they had met.
After a picture perfect time on the beach and pier we met up for our last dinner in Los Angeles - watching the sun set over the Pacific Ocean...can anyone think of a better job to have in student travel?!
One last breakfast and off to the airport to head for home. Suitcases stuffed to the limit, new sunglasses and shirts on most of the kids and smiles and memories to keep them warm as they head back home to winter weather. Another really fun Peak Performance Tours group trip for me that I was able to share with a nice group of people, seeing the sights, tapping our toes and soaking in the California lifestyle!