Bowers Sweethearts Shine Through Leadership

In Roane County there’s a group of girls and boys that have worked at earning their team name, that’s the Bowers Sweethearts.  Here’s more about them and their upcoming performance..

A Group that was formed over 16 years ago is still going strong today at Bowers Elementary in Harriman.  Dawn Jenkins coaches this group of boys and girls that range from Kindergarten through 5th grade.  

“this is the Bower’s sweethearts and we’ve added boys in the past years and we’ve also added the little sweethearts and little boys.  it started out as just for fun during recess and several years ago about 16 years ago and we run it as a leadership program it’s not just dance it is I need to be the best person in the school. I am the kindness leader in the school I am not The star of the show I’m here to lead you and how to be the sweetest so these girls and boys we hold them to high standard.”

Jenkins sets the members to a high standard and checks their grades but they want the kids to learn more about being on a team.

“it’s about learning, teamwork, work ethic And how to treat others let’s be ladies and gentlemen, who are leaders who can do more in our community and that’s why we run it that way.”

This is a large group that has grown over the years.

“We did not have this many we now have our little sweethearts and boys we have 70 kindergarten through third graders. They perform with us four times a year and our big kids we take 28 and they are they have to try out because there are so many and we there’s always 50 that tryout every year and we take them everywhere.”

The Sweethearts have performed several places over the years, like Roane State, at Lady Vols Games, and other sporting events throughout the county.

“We are at high school events, middle school events we just want them to be exposed to everything”

Jenkins emphasizes that the Sweethearts activities extend beyond the dance floor.

“I teach them to be advocates for themselves because if your teacher knows you need help they will always help you, but sometimes they’re afraid to ask and they start doing that.  They need to learn those processes that make you be good leaders, and they lead our school in kindness.”

How often do the Sweethearts meet to work on their performances?

“we practice once a week they are responsible for practicing on their own and knowing the routines they even practice on the playground they learn they’ll get their team together if we’re having a performance and they practice it’s very amazing because they’re learning skills when they do other sports in middle school and high school”

The sweethearts have been working on a performance that will take place at 2:30pm on Sunday, April 7th.

“So this is our last show of the year we like to showcase their dances they’ll do five and then we bring another community. We have the Harriman high school band, Harriman middle school jazz band, We have the winter guard we have the wrong county line dance team and Roane county bounce team they’re going to come in and perform in a clogging team from Maryville and so they’re gonna come and perform and it’s just community event and we usually have between 3 to 400 people show up which is amazing for these kids that last about an hour and It’s free and it’s a lot of fun.”

This year’s last dance has special meaning for the Sweethearts. 

“the last dance of our showcase. It’s a lyrical dance and we are dedicating it to Preston Wells ‘Pman’ he was a wonderful part of our community of our girls know him they love him and we just want to make this a wonderful time to remember him and his family because we love him so we are dedicating our final dance to him.”

You can attend the event Sunday at the Harriman High school gymnasium, it starts at 2:30pm and is free of charge. 

By covering the Bowers Sweethearts’ story with depth and warmth, we hope to shine a spotlight on the incredible achievements of these young dancers and their unwavering commitment to making a difference in their community.

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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