One Waterfest performer comes to Excelsior from street performing by way of the Emmy winning dance competition, So You Think You Can Dance.

A preview of Sammy Sweetser’s audition premiered on Monday evening’s episode of the hit television show. The clip showed Sweetser, otherwise known as Xodus, dancing his signature break-dance style with his two-year-old son. He said he decided to do the competition to inspire his two children to dream.

“I’m a father with two kids … (it was a great experience) to still be able to chase my passion and pursue my dreams, not only for myself but to show my kids a blueprint of what it looks like to follow the things that God has put into your heart,” he said

Hundreds of dancers throughout the country travel great lengths to audition for the show, providing stiff competition for Xodus and the other dancers selected to move forward in the competition. Xodus said he never thought he would do a competition such as SYTYCD. Instead, he became a street dancer and competed in underground competitions. He said he decided to audition for the competition in hopes it would push him out of his comfort zone and expose him to something different.

As the weeks went on, SYTYCD selects other dance styles for each dancer, including hip hop, contemporary and ballroom styles among others.

The chance of being exposed to the other dance styles, Xodus said, would achieve that goal and push him to grow as a dancer and as a performer.

He said he knew it would be a struggle for him to have to learn the other styles, but he thought learning more about the other dances styles would help him to become more open, he said.

It would also allow him a new respect to the history of the other styles. He said the opportunity would give him new ideas and the opportunity to meet other dancers throughout the country.

Other Waterfest attractions

Other events at Waterfest will also include the ever-popular Kids’ Corner.

Andrew Morris, business and marketing manager with The Excelsior Springs Community Center, said the plans for this year’s event will be bigger and better than ever before.

“In addition to the bounce house, water slide and sports-themed inflatable we are adding another bounce house and a kids obstacle course,” he said. “All day wristbands will be available for $10. We are happy to announce that all proceeds from Kids Corner will support the Excelsior Springs High School Tiger Pride Band who will help us operate the corner. We look forward to another great festival and thank the Waterfest board for their work and support.”

Scissors and Shears will sponsor a Little Miss and Mister Waterfest 2019 pageant for children aged 4-10 at 12:15 p.m., Saturday, June 22. The deadline to enter will be June 14.

Kalyn Goode, owner of Scissors and Shears, said the opportunity of bringing the tradition of the Little Mister and Miss Waterfest pageant back to life excites her.

“Working with children and being involved in the community is something I love doing and I’m so happy to be a part of all of it,” she said. “It is going to be so much fun watching the littles show their home town spirit.”

For more information, please visit Scissors and Shears Facebook page at Children can be entered at Scissors and Shears or at The Excelsior Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

Inspiring others

Xodus will be doing a Hip Hop Dance workshop with GX International 6:30 p.m., Friday, June 21 and then will perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Good News Stage across from Ventana Gourmet Grill.

Waterfest goers can not only expect to see Xodus dance but also motivate as well.

David Boudreaux of Crescent Lake Christian Center asked Xodus to perform at Waterfest after watching his performance at an outreach CLCC did a few years ago.

“I was super impressed with his talent, but what struck me was how genuine he was,” he said. “Sammy is the real deal ... It’s gonna be awesome!”

Xodus said he simply wants to be a light for a generation that will help them see the opportunities presented when they dream.

“A lot of younger kids can hear what I have to say and hopefully it gives them a chance to dream big.”

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