50th Anniversary of Kindergarten Rodeo

5-year-old Falcons star in one of FWCD's favorite traditions


Sophie Moten '19

Kindergarteners performed for the Class of 2019.

Macie Mallick, Reporter

Boots, barrels, and bulls. Calves, cowboys, and cowgirls. Roping, racing, and riding. The Kindergarten Rodeo is saying “Howdy!” for the 50th time.

For half a century, the Kindergarten at Fort Worth Country Day has hosted the Rodeo for the school community. Dan Bloch H’06, Middle School Science Teacher, has been part of this production since it started in 1969. The Rodeo was brought to Country Day by Melinda Miller, a former FWCD teacher. Miller and Bloch worked together to create what started as a small show to the large-scale production it is today.

Bloch became involved in the K-Rodeo because of his love for the banjo. Playing since his years as a middle schooler, he brought something to the table that stuck for 50 years. He has continued and plans to play for the Kindergarten for years to come.

“I think that the Kindergarten Rodeo is one of the most creative ways of letting children that age have individual expression,” Bloch said.

Bloch believes that it is important for students to be a part of something like the Rodeo because they can express themselves in creative ways and even non-verbally by participating in the events.  

Bloch playing the banjo for the Kindergarten Rodeo is something that the Country Day community will never forget. He is playing in the Rodeo that his granddaughter, Eliana Montgomery ‘31, is in and plans to play for his other granddaughter in the coming years.  

The K-Rodeo has evolved over the years. It started with two people, Miller and Bloch. It has changed from then with Bloch playing “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” to Christine Derber expanding the show to four songs: “Oh I am a Cowboy,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” “I am a Texas Star” and “Deep in the Heart of Texas.” 20 years ago, the shoots were cardboard boxes and the steer horns were cylinder blocks. Now, there are fences and painted steer horns. Other aspects of the Rodeo have also changed. Instead of doing two separate shows with two classes in each, the Rodeo now is one big show with all four classes.

On the other hand, some things haven’t changed. For example, the events are still calf roping, steer wrestling, cutting horses, bull riding, bareback broncos, trick roping, barrel racing, and the calf scramble. Bloch is still playing the banjo for the events, even though he says the songs “never come out the same way twice.”

The K-Rodeo is held at three different times each year. The first show for the Class of ‘31 was on Thursday, January 24 for the Lower School at 8:30 a.m. The other two shows were on January 25 at 8:20 a.m. for the parents and 10:30 a.m. for the seniors and alumni. Following the show on Friday was a luncheon for the seniors and alumni. The Kindergarteners enjoyed cookies and clowns after their performance.