DALLAS, TEXAS – By Justus Wise, Headliner Sports Editor – October 10, 2021
Tremonton-born athlete Kenzie (Gardner) Olsen, 26, that has fought her way to the fulfillment of her childhood dreams and has joined an elite group of professional dancers across the country - the Dallas Cowboys’ hip-hop dance team.
The dance team, known as Rhythm and Blue, teams up with the drumline team every Sunday during the National Football League’s season to pump up Dallas Cowboys football fans. Kenzie’s first game was on Sunday, October 3.
And there at AT&T Stadium in Dallas is Kenzie, a 2014 graduate from Bear River High School in front of thousands of fans and doing what she loves.
“It feels pretty surreal to tell you the truth. I always knew I wanted to dance professionally but after dreaming for so long it’s a strange feeling to finally see it come true,” Kenzie said when asked about how it feels to be in one of the largest stadiums in the country and fulfilling her dreams.
Kenzie, daughter of Rod and Jill Gardner of Deweyville, spent years of hard work and sacrifice to get there.
This journey, though impressive now, has not always been the easiest choice for Kenzie and often put her in conflict with other wants and desires along the way.
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“In high school I often missed out on a lot of the social experiences most people had. I was always dancing and turning a lot of social invitations down. People eventually would quit asking, rightfully so. But looking back I wouldn't change a thing,” she said.
And that dedication and sacrifice is paying off for Kenzie.
“Crazy enough, the hard sacrifices I made so many years ago are showing their fruits to this day. The journey was and always is a consistent desire to go the extra mile even when it's hard. You never know when it will all pay off,” she said.
Not only was the journey difficult but the try-out process was brutal.
“In my 23 years of dancing, I have never had an audition process so mentally and physically challenging,” Kenzie said.
Near the end of her rope during such a grueling audition, Kenzie turned to one of her biggest inspirations, her dad, for help.
“On one of the lunch breaks during the audition, I called my dad and told him I couldn't do it and that I was heading home. He did what dads do and pep talked me into going back in. I am so grateful for that phone call,” Kenzie recalled.
Kenzie expressed gratitude, not only her dad that helped along the way, but the countless people that helped her in her difficult moments.
“I have quite a few people who I know for sure I couldn't make it without. My husband Jared is at the top of that list. My parents have always pushed me and never let me quit,” she said.
Her mother Jill is also at the top of that list.
“My mom kept me in dance through some of our family’s hardest moments financially. She knew I needed it. I’m forever grateful to her,” Kenzie said.
“Lastly, a well-known Tremonton [legend], Lisa Park, has always been in my corner. She expected nothing less than my best through high school and taught me if I did just that, I would be unstoppable,” she added.
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No man, or woman, is an island and Kenzie has been upheld by the very best and the payoff shows.
Kenzie, no stranger to hard work, grinds hard everyday to be the best she can be in all she does.
“I am a wife, a dental hygienist and a dancer in the evenings. I try to take care of my body so I can be prepared for long game days. As a rookie, I am often practicing outside of practice to learn the ropes as quickly as possible,” she said.
As difficult as it may be to put in the work to keep a dream afloat, she is passionate, not only about her own dancing, but the people she dances for.
“Dance makes me feel happy. While I am performing, I am often telling myself to have fun and project outward. Dancers are entertainers and I never want to be boring to watch,” Kenzie said.
“My favorite aspect of dance is getting the crowd involved and making them want to dance too. When you make someone smile or you can tell they are having fun with you, there is nothing better,” she added.
There are more dreams on the horizon for Kenzie to still fulfill in the next phase of her life.
“My post dance plans include preparing to be a mom and begin having a family. I'll always be a dancer, but I also hope to raise some one day,” Kenzie said.