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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

Two Locals Dance Their Way Onto Reality TV

Kim Fore works with Kayla Thomas, 8, on a dance routine. (Photo by David Crigger|Bristol Herald Courier)
Kim Fore works with Kayla Thomas, 8, on a dance routine. (Photo by David Crigger|Bristol Herald Courier)

By Debra McCown | Bristol Herald Courier | June 01, 2008

*** This story appeared in the Bristol Herald Courier on May 30, 2008 ***

ABINGDON, Va. ? This summer, at least two local people will appear on reality TV shows.

Dance teacher Kim Fore and one of her students will appear on separate shows ? Fore, of Glade Spring, on ABC's "Dance Machine," and 8-year-old Kayla Thomas, of Abingdon, on a show called, "The Next Child Superstar."

"I never dreamed that this would happen, but I just kind of went for it," Fore said of her competition, which begins airing July 11. "It was a great experience for me, and I think it will show my students that there's opportunities out there for them as well."

Being from a small town, she said she hasn't had many of the opportunities available in larger cities, but opportunities are out there. She said she spends hours searching for them on the Internet.

Among the opportunities she has found were the audition for "The Next Child Superstar."

"This [performing on reality TV] kind of completed a lot of goals for me that I had, and now that I've gotten older, I have really focused on my career with my studio and finding opportunities for these other talented kids that are coming up," Fore said. "I want them to be able to make it somewhere big."

She said she started dancing at age 4 and started dance lessons in her home at age 13. She later expanded to a friend's basement and then to a studio on the town square in Glade Spring.

Now her dance studio, Xtreme Dance Company, has locations in Abingdon and Chilhowie, and she is preparing to expand to a third location in Lebanon.

"We've basically got everything from belly dancing to karate," she said. "I'm trying to make it a performing arts center where it will have all styles, everything from music to voice, everything if possible."

Kayla studies several styles of dance, but she plans to clog to the song "Black Betty" in the competition.
"I'm going to be clogging because it's probably the best dance I do," Kayla said, adding she enjoys dancing "because it's fun."

Kayla said she thinks she'll like performing on TV, but she wants to see how it goes before she signs up for any additional television appearances.

She wants to be a heart doctor or a veterinarian when she grows up, but she also wants to keep dancing.
In addition to the show taping on June 29, Kayla dances on a competition team and is traveling to New York in July to perform.

"I feel like it could be a good thing for her because she loves to entertain and that's her opportunity to entertain everybody that watches it," her mother, Dawn Thomas, said of the program. "I think some reality shows aren't good, but I think this one is about the kids."

She said Kayla started dancing at age 3 and loved it from the start.

"I'm excited for her. ... I'm hoping that it will help her get other opportunities," Thomas said. "She has a lot of talent, and I feel like if we get on there and they videotape her ... they'll see what talent she does have."

As for Fore, the instructor said she's not allowed to reveal any details of how she did on "Dance Machine," which has already been filmed, but she said each episode has six contestants vying for $100,000.

She cautioned that reality TV is not 100 percent reality, but it is a great learning experience.

"It's a small town. Everybody talks about everything and everybody ... you tell one person, and it gets out to everyone," she said. "So everyone knows about it, and keeps asking me questions, but I don't give details."

Some other local folks have appeared on reality TV shows. They are:

* Holly Kiser, of Coeburn, Va., won Bravo's reality series "Make Me a Supermodel."
* Steve "Chicken" Morris, of Marion, Va., was the first contestant voted off "Survivor: China."
* "Big Tom" Buchanan, of Rich Valley, Va., was runner-up on "Survivor: Africa" and finished in the top five on "Survivor: All-Stars."