2015 Cheer Photo Shoot Live Blog

Check back here all day today for live updates and exclusive behind the scenes photos from our cheer photo shoot! We will give you all the exciting details that we normally keep top secret…

2:10pm | We are busy finalizing all the last minute details to ensure the shoot goes as smoothly as possible. Our models are set to begin arriving in 45 rminutes and we can’t wait to get the fun started!

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3:45pm | Lighting is being tested and we are getting ready to start the shoot! The girls look gorgeous, and we can’t wait to see our new line of products under the lights.

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4:15pm | And we’re off! First shots of the day are looking amazing! We love all the sparkle and bling, and we know you will too.

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4:40pm | You know we mean business when the industrial fan comes out! The fun is just getting started.

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5:15pm | These new styles are fabulous. All the hard work that our design department has put in over the last few months has definitely paid off!

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6:25pm | Break time for some snacks before we get back to it!

6:45pm | We are back at it! But not before we have a little fun. If you’ve ever wondered where our models learned to pose so well, check out the brains behind our cheer division.

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7:52pm | Getting ready to shoot the last shot of the day! It’s been a blast… Hang in there for one final behind the scenes photo after we’ve called it a day!

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7:55pm | THAT’S A WRAP!!! Another fabulous photoshoot in the books!

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Meet our Experts: Part 2

Today we introduce you to Lydia Hicks, our resident Cheer expert:

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As Cheer Division Manager, Lydia Hicks, brings experience and knowledge from all aspects of the Cheerleading Industry. Being a former cheerleader, youth organizer, choreographer, and coach she brings the consumer vision to her role with Motionwear Cheer. Lydia has a design degree from the University of Memphis and has applied her education and cheer experience towards her career in the cheerleading apparel industry. In her past work experiences, she was an accomplished sales representative responsible for calling on schools, youth leagues, and allstar gyms in the West Tennessee territory. She managed high profile accounts successfully within her territory and received numerous goal achieving awards. During the advancement of her career she moved towards the manufacturing and product management side of the industry gaining valuable knowledge in designing, pattern making, manufacturing, and marketing cheerleading apparel and accessories. Currently with Motionwear, she is the line category manager for the division as well as participates in sales support and business development for overall growth in the market place.

Meet our experts!

Motionwear couldn’t run without our amazing experts that work hard behind the scenes to ensure our products fit all of your needs. In this series we will be introducing you to all of our amazing experts and learning a little more about them.

Today we’d like to introduce you to our Dance Division Manager, Tina Mollis:

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Tina began her relationship with Motionwear in 2007 as Regional Sales Representative for the Pacific Northwest. She was later promoted to Dance Product Manager and moved to Indianapolis from Seattle in 2012. Initially, her focus was as Manager of the Dance Design Team and leader in the development process for our fashion offerings. While she continues to provide that same design leadership, she now has a more direct role in new business development and marketing for our Dance Division. Tina brings valuable insight to the needs of dancers/choreographers/educators as she enjoyed a long and successful career as a Jazz, Tap and Musical Theatre dancer. Those career highlights include National Tours of “A Chorus Line”, The Rhythm Kings Jazz Orchestra and the film “Tap” (starring Gregory Hines). She later focused her attention on choreography/dance education at theatres, studios and universities. Tina continues to stay involved with the dance community throughout the country by choreographing, teaching master classes and maintaining relationships with dance professionals, teachers and our next generation of emerging artists.

Tina teaching class at the Midwest Dance Festival at Anderson University
Tina teaching class at the Midwest Dance Festival at Anderson University

Motionwear Recognizes Stores for 2013 Platinum Award

Motionwear would like to recognize the stores that have received the Motionwear 2013 Platinum Award.

These retailers have shown sales growth, breadth of assortment, and contribution to the arts.

As a token of our appreciation, Motionwear rewarded these retailers with a custom banner announcing their Platinum Award status with Motionwear.

Congratulations to all of the 2013 Motionwear Platinum Award Winning Retailers!

Motionwear Awards Mississippi Studio Cash Prize For “Why My Studio Rocks” Program

Indianapolis, Indiana – Motionwear, the Indianapolis-based dance apparel manufacturer, announces the winner for their “Why My Studio Rocks” program in effort to shine a spotlight on the winning studio. Motionwear acknowledged Turning Pointe Dance Academy in Corinth, Mississippi by awarding them a $500 cash prize.

Turning Pointe Dance Academy opened one year ago. In that time, studio owner Crystal Scarborough had turned girls who had never danced before into regional Showstopper winners. “I believe this happened because we are encouraged in a positive light,” said the student who nominated her studio. Students say the studio has become their home. Every team member is always welcome to “claim a spot at the bar and work”, even when its not his or her class time. Scarborough offers her time and money to teach, and buy shoes, and costumes for those who cannot.

a href=”https://www.facebook.com/turningpointecorinth” title=”Turning Pointe Dance Academy” target=”_blank”>TPDA now has two competition teams and fifty recreational students in just the first year alone. “Our studio is small, but it belongs to the dancers. Many of us consider this our safe place. There are no harsh words. I have seen little girls come into the recreational classes so timid and shy that they would cry the first day. One little girl did just that three months ago, but by the time the performance came around, she beamed on stage. After the performance we were having pictures taken and her mother and grandmother came over to Mrs. Crystal and said “We have you one child, and you have given us back another. God bless you! We never thought it was possible for her to look so happy or confident!” says student Maurryn Bingham. Studio Owner, Scarborough replied “That was always there! She just needed to believe it!”

Bingham, who nominated her studio, said” “Not only has our studio brought ballet back to the life in our area, but it has helped the confidence in every girl inside as well. That’s why my studio rocks!”

Bingham states “She finds what each of us excel at and builds out of that. Our studio is small, but it belongs to the dancers.” Turning Pointe Dance Academy helps bring confidence to young dancers and teachers them the art of dance.

The “Why My Studio Rocks” program is a campaign to highlight one studio per year for their work and impact in the dance community. Studios and students submitted written essays detailing why their studio should win. Studios play an integral role in the life of a dancer. Motionwear realizes that the studio is the foundation of where the dancer’s dreams come to life.

“As a father whose daughter danced her entire young adult life, there is no question that her experiences in the studio were the main reasons she loved the art and danced so long. We wanted to bring fun exposure to the winning studio and give back as well,” says Charles M Pigh, VP Sales and Marketing.

The RDA National Choreography Intensive is a program that provides dancers, emerging choreographers, and seasoned choreographers the opportunity to work, study, and create under the guidance of nationally recognized professionals in the fields of music and dance.

“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Well, I have been home for about three weeks now, and I have had plenty of time to reflect on the five weeks I spent at The School of American Ballet Summer Course 2013 in New York City. I have thought about what I learned while I was at SAB, what I took away from my experience, and how my time there will help me as an aspiring ballerina. I am grateful for the time I spent at SAB and everything I learned, and even though is was only five weeks, it had a huge impact on me.

SAB Summer Course 2013 was definitely one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I spent five weeks immersed in the Balanchine style (which was new to me), taking classes from incredible teachers who were both former (Peter Martins, Kay Mazzo, Suki Schorer, Susan Pilarre, Darci Kistler, Jock Soto, Katrina Killian, Yvonne Borree) and current (Megan Fairchild, Ashley Bouder, Abi Stafford, and Jonathan Stafford) New York City Ballet principal dancers. I was thrilled to be placed in the highest level and was honored to be selected by Troy Schumacher to dance in the Summer Choreographic Workshop. I learned several variations from the vast Balanchine repertoire. I made lots of great, new friends from all over the country, many of whom I keep in contact with on almost a daily basis. I developed a special connection and friendship with Ashley Laracey, current NYCB soloist, and we have had many conversations since I have been home. Ashley has become an amazing friend who gives me support, encouragement, advice, and insight. I had the chance to see professional ballets (including New York City Ballet in Saratoga) and Broadway musicals, go on tours and visit museums, and explore parts of New York City I hadn’t seen before. I also enjoyed a sense of freedom (as well as maturity and responsibility) that goes along with living away from home.

I realize how lucky I am to have been able to attend The School of American Ballet Summer Course 2013 since over 2000 dancers audition for the summer course each year and only 200 are selected to attend. Spending five weeks at SAB confirmed that a career in ballet is definitely what I want to pursue and New York City is where I want to be. During my time there, I learned a lot about the Balanchine style and a lot about myself as a dancer. I learned how important a deep plié, musicality, and a connection to the music are. I learned that I can move faster than I thought I could to perform the sharp, quick movements that are trademarks of the Balanchine style. I learned that I need to be confident in myself and my abilities when I am in a class full of dancers who are older and more experienced than I am. I know my time at SAB and everything I experienced there will help me continue to grow as a dancer.

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I brought a lot home with me from New York City, both literally and figuratively. Along with the souvenirs of my summer and many pairs of dead pointe shoes, I also brought home with me invaluable knowledge and experience, amazing memories, and incredible friendships I hope will last forever. Five weeks was not long enough, and I was definitely not ready for it to end, but I am grateful for the time I had at SAB. I think about my experience and miss it everyday, but I know, in the words of Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Don’t Cry Because It’s Over, Smile Because It Happened.

We had a different schedule on Thursday because of the workshop performance that evening. In the morning I had ballet with New York City Ballet principal Abi Stafford. After class we had to grab a quick lunch because we had rehearsal from 2:00-3:00. After rehearsal I went down to the lobby to see my mom who had flown in that afternoon. I got to spend a few minutes with her before I had to head back to the studio to warm up.

The first workshop performance started at 5:00  and was mostly for the parents of the students who were in the two pieces. Silas Farley’s piece went first. It was a very pretty, very serious piece, and the dancers were dressed in black and white. Troy Schumacher’s piece (the one I was in) was second, and it was completely different. It was called “Cut Capers,” and it was upbeat, fun, and playful. We were all dressed in brightly colored leotards, etc. It went really well, and it was so much fun to dance! Our second performance was for donors to the School of American Ballet, as well as some of the faculty. I felt like the second performance was as good as the first, and I was really hoping Troy and Ashley (Troy’s fiancé NYCB soloist, Ashley Laracey, who had helped us during all the rehearsals) were happy with it.

After the performance, we talked and took pictures. Troy and Ashley gave each of us chocolate and a personal note to thank us for our participation in the workshop. Everyone was laughing and hugging and saying goodbye. The end of the workshop was bittersweet. I was so happy to have been a part of the workshop and Troy’s awesome piece, but I was so sad to tell Troy and Ashley goodbye. I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I hugged Ashley.

After it was all over, my mom and I walked around Lincoln Center and grabbed a quick dinner. I was feeling very emotional and not very hungry. I knew that in less than 48 hours the SAB Summer Course 2013 would be over, and that made me very sad. After dinner my mom walked me back to my dorm, and we said goodbye. I headed up to my room to start packing. Friday my mom came back to SAB to observe my classes. I had ballet with Katrina Killian, and then we ate lunch in the cafeteria. My last class of the summer was variations (also with Katrina Killian), and we worked on a variation from Sleeping Beauty.

Friday evening SAB hosted an end of the summer course party for all the students in one of the studios. We laughed and danced and took lots of pictures and started saying our goodbyes. It was fun but sad at the same time.

Saturday morning was checkout. My mom came to get me and helped me finish packing up my bedding. It was crowded with all the people and their luggage, but it actually went pretty smoothly. I was still saying some goodbyes as we left the building for the last time. My mom and I took a cab to the apartment where she had been staying to drop my luggage off, then we headed out to shop and eat lunch on our last day in NYC. Then we went back to our apartment and spent the evening getting ready for our 6:00am flight back to Indianapolis the next morning.

I can’t believe my 5 weeks at the SAB Summer Course 2013 is already over. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and it went by way too fast. I worked hard, learned a lot, and made so many great friends (including my new best friend). As I look back on my experience, I have to remind myself, in the words of an anonymous proverb, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

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I only have a couple days left!

I just need to enjoy every minute of it and try not to think about the end of SAB Summer Course 2013!

57Friday I had ballet with Suki Schorer, and I felt like I had one of my best classes since being at SAB. I really like Ms. Schorer’s teaching style! Ashley Laracey, an NYCB soloist took our class. Ashley is engaged to our workshop choreographer, Troy Schumacher, and she helps us during the evening rehearsals. She has pulled me aside a couple of times and said really nice, encouraging things to me. I respect and like her a lot, and I love when she takes our classes. After ballet, everyone performing in the choreographic workshop got to go to the toe shoe room to pick out a pair of pointe shoes for free. Now I have another pair to sew!

Friday afternoon I had variations with Yvonne Borree, and we worked on the Raymonda variation from last week. Friday evening  we had rehearsal. After rehearsal, Troy had pizzas brought in for us, and we all sat around, ate pizza, and talked to Ashley and Troy about what it is like to dance with NYCB. It was really interesting to hear about it from their perspective!25-225x300

Saturday I had my last pas class with Peter Martins. I really love that class, and I am going to miss it! After class and lunch, some friends and I went to a few stores in the neighborhood and beyond. We also walked to a place called Sugar and Plum for ice cream. It was a lot of fun!

13Sunday was a quiet day because a lot of people went to Six Flags for the day. I opted not to do that activity because I am not much of an amusement park person! Instead I did laundry in the morning and sewed my pointe shoes, then went with some friends to take dance pictures of each other in Central Park. It was a really pretty day, and we had a lot of fun. On Sunday evening  after dinner, one of my suite mates and I walked to Magnolia Bakery for a cupcake. I think I have had more than enough desserts for the weekend!

Monday morning  I went down to the fifth floor early to watch some other classes before my class started. I like to sit in the hallway and stretch and watch at the same time. I had ballet with NYCB principal Megan Fairchild. I really like her classes a lot. After ballet I had variations with Susan Pilarre. She is really funny, and I love her classes too! We worked on the variation from George Balanchine’s Mozartiana that we started last week. After a quick dinner, it was off to rehearsal again!

3Tuesday I had my last ballet class with Kay Mazzo. I am really going to miss her classes. She makes us work really hard, and she challenges me to push my limits as a dancer. I also had variations with Darci Kistler. We did a barre, then continued working on the female variation from the Tchaikovsky pas de deux and the Raymonda variation from last week. I always love Darci’s classes! Tuesday evening we had a long rehearsal. We finished the piece, and made sure we all know what we are wearing for the performance. I can’t wait to perform it on Thursday!

unitards-225x300Wednesday I had my last class with Jock Soto. His classes are mentally challenging, and I like the way he makes me think. It is also fun because we always do fouettés at the end of his class! After class the SAB School Store was open for the last time. I stopped by to see what they had left, and I picked up another SAB t-shirt. You can never have too many t-shirts, right?! In the afternoon I had my last pointe class with Darci. We ended up having a really short class because we had to grab a quick dinner and start rehearsal early. Troy made some changes to the piece, so we had a lot to do to make sure it was performance ready. Wednesday was a long day, so as soon as rehearsal ended, I headed upstairs to soak my feet and go to bed!

I can’t believe I only have a couple more days left. I am going to enjoy every minute and try not to think about the end of SAB Summer Course 2013!

I can’t believe my fourth week at SAB is almost over :-(

It has been fun and exciting, challenging and exhausting, and very rewarding in every way!

Well, I am totally used to my schedule by now, and I am really enjoying my classes. On Thursday, July 11 I had ballet with Yvonne Borree and pointe with Kay Mazzo. Thursday evening all the SAB summer course students attended something called “The Cultural Program.” collage1We watched a really amazing video about the history of George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein, who togaether founded the School of American Ballet in 1934. There were clips from many of George Balanchine’s famous ballets, including “Serenade,” “Apollo,” “Concerto Barocco,” “Theme and Variations,” “Western Symphony,” and “Stravinsky Violin Concerto.” Not only was it interesting and amazing to hear about their history and see parts of the ballets, but we also got to see some of our current teachers dancing in the video, including Peter Martins, Kay Mazzo, Suki Schorer, Susan Pilarre, and Darci Kistler.

Friday I had ballet with Suki Schorer and variations with Yvonne Borree, where we worked on another variation from Raymonda.Friday evening we watched a video of the 2012-2013 Winter Term students’ Choreographic Workshop. It was fun to see their performance, and I even recognized some familiar faces!

Saturday was a long but awesome day.  Classes were cancelled for the day, and we took a coach bus to Saratoga, NY to see the New York City Ballet perform at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. They performed pieces from “Year of the Rabbit,” “The Garland Dance,” “Barber Violin Concerto,” and “Stravinsky Violin Concerto.” It was a beautiful day and our only chance to see NYCB perform, and I am so glad we had this opportunity!

Sunday I had an easy day. I worked on sewing and Jet gluing pointe shoes and doing my laundry. Earlier in the week, some friends and I had made plans to do something. So in the late afternoon/early evening, we went to Times Square and out to dinner. It was nice to relax and enjoy the city with friends!

Monday I had ballet with NYCB principal Ashley Bouder then pointe with Susan Pilarre. After grabbing a quick dinner in the cafeteria, we had rehearsal for the Student Choreographic Workshop. From now on, I will have rehearsal every evening until we perform on Thursday the 25th. After spending 6 hours a day on pointe, my feet were definitely tired!

Tuesday morning before our normal classes started, we had an Injury Prevention seminar with SAB physical therapist. We learned about how to prevent and treat injuries, and we also gave ourselves a hyper mobility test. I scored a 7 out of 9! After the seminar, I had ballet with Kay Mazzo and variations with Darci Kistler, where we worked on yet another variation from Raymonda. I love every day at SAB, but I think Tuesdays are one of my favorite days! After class and a quick dinner, we had rehearsal again.

Wednesday morning I ran to Duane Reade with one of my suite mates in the morning before class. I had to get some more tape for my feet. I am going through things (like tape and pointe shoes) so quickly since we are spending so many hours on pointe! Then I had ballet with Jock Soto and pointe with Darci Kistler. Wednesday evening we had rehearsal again.

Thursday morning before class we has another seminar. This one dealt with mental fitness, and we learned about controlling our thoughts and staying focused in class. The seminars are very informative and a nice addition to the curriculum. After the seminar, I had ballet with Yvonne Borree and pointe with Kay Mazzo, then dinner and rehearsal. We added on to the piece a lot. It was really fun!

I can’t believe my fourth week at SAB is almost over. It has been fun and exciting, challenging and exhausting, and very rewarding in every way!

I am loving my time in New York City!

. . . but I can’t believe the SAB Summer Course 2013 is halfway over. I guess it is true what they say: “Time flies when you’re having fun!”

Thursday was the 4th of July, so there were no classes. Instead, we boarded the school bus4 and headed to the Bronx Zoo for the day. The zoo is really big! We walked around and saw lots of animals. My favorites were the monkeys, the turtles, and the petting zoo. We ate lunch at the zoo, walked around for awhile longer, then headed back to the dorm in the afternoon. That evening after dinner, my suite mates and I watched fireworks out our dorm window. It was really cool to see them exploding over the skyline of the city!

Friday morning level 7 girls and advanced men had a meeting at 11:00. The meeting was to announce which students were chosen to participate in the Summer Choreographic workshop and performance. There will be two pieces, each choreographed by a member of New York City Ballet. One of the choreographers is Silas Farley, and the other one is Troy Schumacher. Both Silas and Troy had been observing portions of our classes during the previous week, and they had selected dancers for each of their pieces. Seven girls and two boys were selected to be in Silas’s piece, and seven girls and four boys were selected to be in Troy’s piece. I was so honored and excited to find out that I was selected to be in Troy’s piece, and I will be performing it in the NYCB studios on Thursday, July 25 in front of two different audiences!

After the meeting, we had a regular day of classes. I had ballet for the first time with Suki Schorer, and I really enjoyed it. Ms. Schorer is very energetic and gives lots of corrections, which is a good thing! NYCB principal Ashley Bouder took my class too. It is always exciting to take class with principals! After ballet I had variations with Yvonne Borree. We continued working on the Sugarplum variation from George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker that we had started the week before. We also started learning George Balanchine’s Divertimento No. 15. I enjoyed that very much, since it is very different from anything I have ever done before. After classes I grabbed a quick dinner, then headed back to the studio because we had our first rehearsal for the Summer Choreographic workshop piece from 6:00-8:00 pm. I was supposed to see ABT’s Sleeping Beauty Friday evening, but I wasn’t able to attend because of the rehearsal.

Saturday I had a really amazing ballet class plus pas with Peter Martins! I was completely amazed and a little intimidated to be taking a class from the Chairman of the Faculty and Artistic Director of The School of American Ballet, but it was a really great class. There were a number of NYCB company members taking the class as well. Somehow I managed to stay focused, and I think I had a pretty good class!

After class one of my friends and I went out in the Lincoln Center area to run a couple of 1errands. SAB allows students (according to the restrictions set by their parents) to go out in the “neighborhood,” as long as they stay within the set boundaries, let the SAB staff members know exactly where they are going, and let the staff members know exactly when they will be back. We like to go places like Whole Foods, Starbucks, Duane Reade, or to get froyo. Saturday night we hung out in our suite and talked and played a couple of games. SAB regularly schedules in-house dorm activities for students every now and then, like craft night or spa night.

3 5 2Sunday afternoon we went on a walking tour of Central Park. We had a tour guide who took us through and pointed things out to us. I had been through Central Park before, but it was nice to be able to take our time and enjoy it. Sunday afternoon my suite mates and I staged our own photo shoot at Lincoln Center. We all got dressed in leotards, dance skirts, and pointe shoes and took pictures of each other in front of the fountain and in other spots around Lincoln Center. It was really fun, and we plan on doing another photo shoot soon!

Monday I had ballet with Susan Pilarre and pointe with Yvonne Borree. I wore a pair of my new Freed pointe shoes that I bought and sewed last week. I am really happy with the way they feel and how they look. I am going through pointe shoes very quickly here since all my classes are on pointe. With rehearsals every evening starting next week, I will probably go through them even faster. I better start sewing my next pair soon!

My first class on Tuesday was ballet with Kay Mazzo. I really love taking class from Ms. Mazzo. Her classes are challenging, and I feel like I work hard and learn a lot in her classes. The more I have her, the more I am figuring out what she is looking for and how she wants things done! Tuesday afternoon  I had variations with Yvonne Borree. We worked on the female variation from the Tchaikovsky pas de deux, which I also enjoyed!

Wednesday was a busy day for me. First I had ballet with Jock Soto. Mr. Soto’s classes are challenging because he likes to do combinations with arms on the opposite counts as the steps. You really have to think during his classes. After class I grabbed lunch, then stopped by the “toe shoe room.” The “toe shoe room” is a room on the fifth floor where they store all the pointe shoes that are ordered but never used by NYCB dancers. One day each week for one hour, they open the “toe shoe room” to SAB summer course students, and they have the opportunity to purchase pointe shoes for $20. Since I am going through my shoes so quickly, I bought another pair. In the afternoon, I had Pilates with Phoebe Higgins and pointe with Susan Pilarre. Pilates is a chance to relax a little, especially since it is my only class that is not on pointe! I really like taking class from Ms. Pilarre. She is funny and gives lots of corrections. Today we did a barre and worked a little bit on a variation. As soon as class was over, I hurried up to my room to change clothes for the evening. Then we boarded the school bus and headed out to see Newsies on Broadway. I had never seen Newsies before, and the show was so amazing! The guys were full of energy, and I loved all the singing, dancing, and tumbling!

I am loving my time in New York City, and I can’t believe the SAB Summer Course 2013 is halfway over. I guess it is true what they say… “Time flies when you’re having fun!”