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Jan 26, 2021

This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra speaks with Ali Geraets of Just for Kix. You may remember Just for Kix from Episode 48 of the podcast, where Aleksandra interviewed the company’s founder and executive director, Cindy Clough. Just for Kix is a youth dance organization that offers dance classes, summer camps, and special events to tens of thousands of youths around the country. Ali Geraets — Cindy Clough’s daughter — has been a part of the organization for many years and has designed costumes, led virtual dance classes, and has carried out a myriad of other jobs for the company.

For Ali, the joy of dance is its versatility and variety — being able to wear a wide variety of “hats” and go where the need is. To be a utility player — a Swiss Army Knife. As Ali and many others know, there’s much more to dance than performing on a stage. On the podcast, Ali speaks to a wide variety of topics related to dance but, most importantly, how dance has afforded her many different opportunities that have allowed her to use her talents in many different ways.


Moving Quotes:

"Your career doesn't have to be over if you don't dance professionally... There are so many different paths you can take."

"I think that's what's so awesome about my job — I'm incorporating what I love to do. I love dancing and definitely wanted to do the professional route... However, I also love teaching and all of the other things I get to do while maintaining a 'normal life.'"

"Work hard for what you want, and you will surprise yourself."

"Set your goals big and don't settle. It all comes back to hard work... I love kids that will work for it. If you can have a good work ethic, no matter what your talent is, you can get to where you want to get."

"Expose yourself to as much as you possibly can. Expose yourself to as many people as you can... Ask for feedback. Ask others, 'What can I do better?' The more you want that feedback, the stronger you're going to become."

"I think it's good for kids to not always win... I think it's good for them to learn how to be humble when they win and how to be a good sport when they don't win."

"So much of [leadership] is confidence and risk-taking. I feel like a lot of women are scared to take the risks... We need to keep molding young children to be leaders and become what they want to become."

"Those experiences [where you fail], as hard as they are at the time, can be the pivotal moments that happen to you that change the person you're going to become... You need those."


Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

3:18: Ali gives a high-level overview of Just for Kix and how she fits into the ever-expanding organization.

7:27: Ali discusses her role, personally, has expanded since she joined the family business out of high school.

9:34: Ali, who has danced in several Super Bowl halftime shows, tells the story of how she got involved in these performances.

13:55: Geraets shares a humbling failure, which involved a performance on a nationally aired TV show.

17:02: Garaets discusses the many different options one can take as a job inside of the dance industry and how her job has allowed her to “wear many hats.”

20:11: Ali discusses her perspective on why there are so few women in arts leadership and how women can better pursue these types of roles.

21:01: Ali sheds some light on her personal role models and why taking in different perspectives is so important.

23:18: Geraets describes the ongoing nature of learning and why a nonstop willingness to learn is critical for success.

25:14: Ali shares some great insight on why she sees great value in competition.

30:00: Ali ends the podcast by giving some advice for young, aspiring dancers on the value of hard work and determination.


Bullet List of Resources – 

Ali Geraets


Just for Kix