K-Highlites

The K-Highlites perform for shoppers on Monday during the 2020 Holiday Dance Tour at the Safeway parking lot. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

Less than a week after their first performance of the season, Ketchikan High School's K-Highlites dance team were ready to take the stage again.

But this time, their stage wasn't the Kayhi gymnasium — it was various places throughout the community.

When the weather allowed for a dry — but chilly — tour around town Monday, team coach Alma Parker and 14 of the 17 K-Highlites dancers performed outdoors at several locations to spread the holiday spirit.

In an interview with the Daily News late Monday afternoon, Parker said the "K-Highlites Holiday Dance Tour" was a sort of "midnight idea."

"I really didn't know the logistics, I just thought, 'This is a good idea if we could pull this off,'" Parker said.

"The inspiration was just to spread some holiday happiness through town," Parker explained. "We knew that, again, a lot of people weren't able to go to our showcase, so we brought the showcase to them."

Parker and the team had been making preparations for the Holiday Dance Tour for a few weeks prior to the actual event.

They just had to find a good day with good weather.

"We did know that we wanted to do this after the Winter Wonder Dance (on Dec. 15) during the (winter) break, we just didn't know what day," Parker said. "We just watched the weather forecast."

And so when the weather appeared ideal on Monday, the team got together with uniforms, a generator to play their music, and a hand-decorated Kayhi van to transport them along their route.

The group started out at the Simply Bella store, and continued to perform a holiday dance routine at the Ketchikan Pioneer Home, the Ketchikan Fire Department Station 2, PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center, Safeway and The Plaza mall, Berths 3 and 4, Ketchikan Fire Department Station 1, Coast Guard Base Ketchikan and the Gateway Recreation Center.

The stops were "a way to thank (those entities) for their support, or just thank them for what they do for our community," said Parker.

The team members wore masks during the tour, and kept their distance from each other while performing their holiday-themed routine.

All performances took place outside the establishments at which the team stopped with their music.

"We would take up a whole sidewalk length, a block length, of us," Parker noted. "We were in front of Safeway and we covered most of the whole front of the store."

Parker said that the team's stop at Safeway attracted the most attention from onlookers.

The performances at the Pioneer Home and PeaceHealth were "the most delightful," Parker said.

"They (staff) brought the patients or elders to the windows and they were able to watch us through the window," she said, noting that the dancers provided an encore for residents of the Pioneer Home.

"It was great bonding for the team," she said. "They (the dancers) were cold, but they powered through. It was a wonderful experience. ... All we saw were smiles, people honking. ... We had fans follow us through the whole tour."

It was the first time that the K-Highlites had done a holiday tour.

"They were so excited," Parker said of the team. "They were cold, but they thought it was a great opportunity to make it an annual tradition, and so we are going to start that, to be something we do every year."