If you have a toddler or preschooler, chances are you know how to hip, hop, and pop to The Fresh Beat Band, four very talented best friends (Kiki, Shout, Marina, and Twist) who are taking Nickelodeon by storm. The show is a massive success not only for the network, but also for the group, whose 15-week concert tour sold out in a flash and kicks off on February 2 in Anaheim, CA.
Parents.com: Is it accurate to say that The Fresh Beat Band is like Glee for kids under 6?
Jon Beavers (Twist): You're not the first person to say that, so, yes, I would agree. We actually shoot right next to Glee so there is a parallel.
Describe what it means to make such a huge and positive impact on millions of little kids.
Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer (Kiki): Until we started performing for a live audience, since the show is filmed on a closed set, I didn't realize how much joy we brought to their lives. I love how we inspire children to love music. It's really a wonderful feeling to have this connection with them.
What message do you want to impart to children through the use of song and dance?
Thomas Hobson (Shout): We try to teach music for the love of music. Music education is so important and it's also fun to sing and dance to.
Why is it so important to instill these lessons at an early age?
JB: I hope that this program begins the conversation between children and their parents or guardians on the subjects we touch upon. It's so important for children to have that relationship. If we can open the dialogue door and encourage children to express themselves, it makes me proud.
Sounds like these roles carry the same responsibility as teachers?
TH: That's the highest compliment we can get, and something that we as a cast are really proud of. We're honored to help children, especially because we like doing it in a fun way.
You use the word "together" many times in each episode. Why is that theme so important?
Tara Perry (Marina): Being able to help your friends is very rewarding. Doing things together not only makes overcoming obstacles easier; it also it strengthens your friendships.
YGN: In this electronic age, which can be isolating because children may tend to pull away from building friendships if they're busy on an iPhone, iPad or computer, we like to turn the focus on how team work can have many positive effects.
More from The Fresh Beat Band
A recent episode tackled the subject of bullying [a character named Deep Freeze froze all of the Fresh Beats friends because she couldn't dance]. What other subjects would you like to see featured on your program?
JB: It's so important for us as a group to honor and celebrate people's differences. Being unique is great. It is what makes each one of us special. That's a theme I would like to continue building on.
What do you think each of your characters [Kiki, Shout, Marina, Twist] symbolize?
TP: Marina is so much fun to play. She's smart and she's a little bit goofy but she's always there to get the band back on track. She's the steady beat for the band.
YGN: Kiki is the epitome of optimism. She's always enthusiastic and can always find the positive in everything.
TH: Shout is loyal. He loves and will always support his friends. He's the big brother of the group.
JB: Twist is one big kid. He's always happy and always jumps up with these crazy ideas. He's the rambunctious one of the group.
How excited are you to trek across the country and meet your fans?
TH: It's electrifying being up on stage and seeing the joy we bring to all of these young people. Truly, there is nothing like it.
Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.