L to R: Julianna, Jacob, Liv and Isiah perform during the Kidz Bop 2019 World Tour
Photo: Paul Hampartsoumian
Photo: Paul Hampartsoumian

Does your child have what it takes to be a Kidz Bop kid? 

It’s hard to believe Kidz Bop has been around for 18 years. The music brand which features kid-friendly versions of the hottest pop music has sold more than 20 million albums making it the number one music brand for kids. 

With music sung by kids, for kids, Kidz Bop is often a child’s first exposure to pop music and the live tour is often their first concert experience. 

The live tour also features a brand new workshop the morning of the show for kids ages 6 - 12. The 4.5 hour workshop requires a separate ticket and gives kids a taste of what it is like to be a Kidz Bop kid. Working with actual Kidz Bop choreographers and vocal coaches, children go through dance and vocal training while learning to be confident performers.

Layla, age 9, attended the Kidz Bop workshop and concert in Atlanta to share what it was like to experience a day in the life of a Kidz Bop kid! 

BY LAYLA R.

I have been listening to Kidz Bop since I was about 4 or 5 years old and I have all of the Kidz Bop albums from that time except the newest album. One thing I like about Kidz Bop music is that they express their feelings in the songs.

I was really excited when I heard I was going to a Kidz Bop workshop and concert. I was especially excited when I heard I would get the chance to meet them. I was a little surprised when I learned I had to write a story about it but I thought to myself, if I get to go to see Kidz Bop then I will take the job.

The workshop started at 9 a.m. I woke up at 6:45 a.m. I was really nervous about going at first. At least 70 kids were at the workshop but when we started I felt better.

Former Kidz Bop kid Ashlynn, 18, (far left)  shares a laugh with kids at the Kidz Bop workshop in Atlanta. The workshop gives kids the opportunity to work with Kidz Bop trainers on dancing, singing and camera presence.

First we met a former Kidz Bop kid. Ashlynn, 18, was a Kidz Bop kid from age 12-15. She led us through the same warm up exercises that Kidz Bop does. Then she taught us the actual Kidz Bop dance routine that goes to the song “Shut Up and Dance.”

Then the Kidz Bop vocal coach, Vanessa Bryan (she sings with many people such as Gwen Stefani and Idina Menzel) did singing warm ups with us. She taught us humming, lip trills, how to feel vibrations on the bridge of your nose and how to say “Fe Fi Fo Fum” to help you sing more soulfully. After the warm ups, she taught us the words to “Shut Up and Dance” and we learned about harmony and melody. 

Vanessa Bryan, the vocal coach for Kidz Bop, helped Layla, 9 and other kids at the Kidz Bop Workshop learn how to warm up their singing voices with a series of exercises.

We also learned how to be on camera. A photographer filmed us as we walked and posed for the camera. It was really important to be confident and look directly at the camera.

After lunch, we did the “Kidz Bop Shuffle” to warm up then we rehearsed the routine we learned earlier one more time. Our instructors told us to shout Kidz Bop so we shouted “Kidz Bop! Kidz Bop!” Then the Kidz Bop Kids -- Jacob, Isaiah, Liv and Julianna -- came running out!!! It felt like the best day of my life. 

Jacob talked about recording the video for “Old Town Road.” Isaiah said being on a tour bus is really fun. “We play board games and video games,” he said. Liv talked about doing conditioning exercises at the concert venues and going to the gym on their days off. Julianna said they have to do online schooling on their laptops. She also said a teacher travels with them because in order to stay in Kidz Bop they have to have good grades.

We also had the chance to ask the Kidz Bop kids some questions. I asked how they are able to do such fast dance moves. Julianna said they work on their choreography for about two months and do a lot of conditioning exercises to help them. Another kid at the workshop asked if the Kidz Bop bus has a hot tub. Liv said they didn’t but they were going to Mexico to perform soon and she thought their hotel rooms would have hot tubs. 

After we asked all of these questions, we finally got to do the dance with them. We also did the Kidz Bop Shuffle with them.

Lastly, at the workshop we did a practice audition. We counted off in groups of 10 and did the dance again. 

Even though I was nervous when I first got to the workshop, by the end, I felt really confident about my dancing since I am used to dancing on stage. Singing was harder for me because I didn’t know the song as well. Also being on camera was new to me, but it helped when all the kids began cheering for each other. Overall, I learned that it is important to be confident as a performer. That was the word of the day, being confident in what you are doing.

Photo: Paul Hampartsoumian

Then I was on my way to the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta where the Kidz Bop concert was taking place. 

They played all of the Kidz Bop videos on a big screen behind the stage while we waited for the concert to start. Before the Kidz Bop kids came out, a local dance company did a dance and then the show started.

Everyone in the crowd was shouting. They were really excited. People really wanted to see Kidz Bop. When they did “Kidz Bop Shuffle” they made everyone (even parents) stand up and do the dance with them. Everyone was really enthusiastic. 

They had a lot of special effects in the show like smoke, confetti, confetti strips, and bubbles. They sang some of my favorite songs including “Shut up and Dance.” When I heard the music, me and one of the other girls from the workshop started doing the dance moves in our row. 

Photo: Paul Hampartsoumian

My other favorite song was “Friends.” They also sang, “Girls Like You,” “Despacito,” “Beautiful,” “Thunder,” and “Cake by the Ocean.” Everyone was dancing and singing along. I really wanted to hear, “Old Town Road” but instead of singing it live, they showed it on the video screen during intermission. 

At one point in the show, they had four dads come on stage for a dance competition to “ Kiki Do You Love Me.” It was really funny watching the dads dance. One dad tried to do the Floss but he lost control of his arms.

Throughout the show, we got to watch videos of each one of the Kidz Bop kids talking about themselves, telling us about their favorite songs, dance moves and hobbies. 

Photo: Paul Hampartsoumian

I couldn’t believe it when the show was over but I know they are kids and can’t perform for too long. As they were leaving the stage, Isaiah turned around and offered one more song but only if the audience cheered really loud. We did, so they came back and sang “Happier.”

I had one more chance to see the Kidz Bop kids at a meet and greet. I waited in line to take a picture with them. When I told them my name was Layla, they told me there was also a Kidz Bop kid named Layla. As I was walking away, Julianna said “Bye!” and I waved.

And that was the end of my Kidz Bop experience. On Sunday, my legs were sore from all the dancing I had done at the workshop and concert but I had a ton of fun. 

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About the Author

Nedra Rhone
Nedra Rhone
Nedra Rhone has been a features reporter with the AJC for 10 years. She’s written about everything from fashion to food to news.
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