Some students spend their spring breaks on the ski slopes or at the beach.
The Tyler Junior College Apache Belles will be spending their break in Seoul, South Korea, where they will perform for U.S. military service members.
The group of more than 70, including the Belles, alumni, parents, staff and friends, will leave Friday morning for Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, where they will catch a 14-hour, nonstop flight to Incheon International Airport in South Korea.
The Apache Belles have spent months preparing for the trip, raising funds and rehearsing some 14 dance routines, with styles ranging from their signature hat-hitting hick kicks and jump splits to clogging, tap, jazz, contemporary and Broadway.
On Sunday, March 9, the Apache Belles will spend the day at Camp Humphreys, a U.S. Army garrison near Seoul, where they will do a daylong Belle Babes workshop with children of the service members then perform that evening on the base.
“We are especially excited to get to spend our first day with the children of our service men and women,” Apache Belles Director Jasilyn Schaefer said. “What an honor it is to give back to these families who sacrifice so much for our freedom.
“It really is humbling to meet these brave men and women, perform for them and bring them a bit of home. The Apache Belles have performed for U.S. troops all over the world, and it’s one of our greatest privileges. It’s an experience our girls will remember forever.”
The group will travel Monday for Gyeongjoo University, where they will meet Korean university students, tour the campus, then hold a combined performance with the university’s taekwondo group.
On Tuesday, March 11, the Belles will hold a performance in the City Hall Plaza in downtown Seoul. A Korean cheer team and marching band will also perform.
The remainder of the week will be spent touring cultural sites in and around Seoul before returning to Tyler on Saturday, March 15.
Along the way, TJC staff will post photos and videos to TJC social media and send a few stories back to local media.
Author: Elise Mullinix