Chicago Honey Bear Dancers Strive to Lead Healthy Lifestyle
The Chicago Honey Bear Dancers have been entertaining audiences at the 2019 Missouri State Fair since Thursday, and will continue to do so through the end of the Fair on Sunday, Aug. 18.
We caught up with the four members of the energetic dance troupe on Friday at the Kid's Stage, and asked them a few questions, starting with line captain Lisa Michelle Schwartz.
Lisa, the leader of the quartet, wouldn't divulge her age, but said she has been doing this job for over 20 years.
The Chicago Honey Bears Dancers, based out of (where else?) Chicago, is a variety song and dance show. "We originated from the Chicago Bears football team. And way back in 1985, our producer, Greg Schwartz, he used to work with the Bears. And when they got rid of the cheerleaders, he bought the rights to the name, trademarked it, and turned it into a traveling song and dance show," Lisa explained.
"We perform all over the world, at over 180 US military bases, hundreds of county fairs and festivals, over 20 state fairs, resorts, corporate events, we work with over 70 of the Fortune 500 companies, and just a lot of special events," Lisa said of the dance company, whose parent company, Dance Spectacular Productions, is based out of Carol Stream, Illinois.
The live show incorporates all styles of dance, with plenty audience participation. The show at the Mo State Fair takes place at 12:30 and 4, followed by a kids dance workshop at 6 p.m. The workshop has a socially significant message of being a buddy, not a bully. "With bullying being such a huge thing today in our world, we like to give the kids some tools to be able to know how to handle that situation if they're ever being bullied. So we make it fun, though, so they get to dance and have fun, and learn how to be a buddy, not a bully." Lisa said.
Assistant line captain Amanda explained that her group is on a two-month tour from summer through fall. "We actually came from White County, Illinois, we did the White County Fair. Now we're here for the Missouri State Fair for the entire run. Next we'll be heading to Whiteman Air Force Base, right next door, we've been there a few times before," Amanda said. "They love us there for sure!"
The dancers then travel to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for shows in Houghton County.
"After that, we go all the way to New Mexico to do the entire run of the New Mexico State Fair," Amanda noted.
Staying in shape and keeping their energy level up to do all those shows require a conditioning program called "Fit and Fierce."
"You have to train to be able to do this," Amanda explained. "So we encourage each other with healthy eating, a healthy lifestyle, we swap recipes, we share our workouts and just really encourage each other to live our healthiest life."