If your child wants to get a head start on an active, dance-filled opportunity, this summer’s Carolina Panthers Junior TopCats program is for them.

For children between the ages of 7 and 14, the Junior TopCats program allows kids to flex their fledgling dance moves and even kick off the Panthers’ 2017 season with a special pregame performance in front of 73,000 fans. The biggest goal? To help promote healthy self-esteem and make new friends.

Camela Bell, a former TopCat and parent whose 10-year-old daughter has been in the program for the last three years, is looking forward to her daughter’s continued work on her natural choreography skills.

“To see my own child out there, made me teary eyed,” says Bell. “Seeing her on the field I was on many years ago brings back those same feelings again.”

Elle, a second year TopCat, will be the clinic’s lead mentor. Other mentors are assigned to each group of kids (about 8-10 kids) over the course of two weekends to go over choreography that will be performed on the field. Anyone who wants to participate can come, meaning they don’t need a dance background. “These kids are really able to pull their talents together and grow their skill sets in different ways throughout the rehearsals and camps,” says Elle. “It’s really a lot of fun.”

Elle’s favorite part of the program is the camaraderie between the young people; since the age range is seven years, the kids are split into age groups with fun names like Petite Paws, Mini Meows, Wee Whiskers and cheers for each of the groups. “We’re out on the practice field and running through everything and getting into formations so they can really get prepared,” she says. “It really helps them to enjoy that excitement and to really rock the performance on game day.”

This year, there will be a summer camp timed with the Panthers’ training camp. The fall camp will consist of two separate weekends for the kids to rehearse, learn the material and perform at the pre-season game. All kids who register get to dance in the program and on the field. They’ll get a uniform, pom poms and hopefully a boost to their self-esteem and confidence.

“Performing in front of so many fans on an NFL field on game day is a very cool experience that’s unmatched anywhere else,” says Elle.

Ready to get started? Parents can go online now and fill out a general interest form for the summer camp, which will be held at Wofford College.

More information: Visit http://www.panthers.com/cheerleaders/junior-topcats-fall-clinics.html this summer to register for the fall clinic.

Visit http://www.panthers.com/cheerleaders/junior-topcats-summer-camps.html to receive more details for the summer clinic. Junior TopCats 2017 Program.

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