National Champs again!

by | July 30, 2010 12:00 am

The Southern Dance Connection will begin its 30th anniversary dance year in August, so having brought home four National Championships from Orlando only a few weeks ago certainly adds to the excitement of this celebration year.

Twenty-eight dancers, instructors, Brooke B. Johnson, Melonie T. Jones, Chawny C. Stewart, and parents of the SDC attended the Dance America National finals competition in Orlando July 3-9, 2010. The SDC girls, along with thousands of others from across the US, Canada, and Mexico competed in solo, duet-trios, small group and large group, line and production categories. Ballet, tap, hip-hop, pointe’, jazz, musical theatre & open divisions were performed daily through out the four day competition.

During the awards ceremonies from each of the eight sessions the girls obtained several 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th place awards and four 1st Place championships in categories with as many as 23 entries. Bridget Dixon, Calissa Mason, and Anna Wiggins won 1st in the Primary duet-trio hip hop division. Taking 1st in Intermediate duet-trio tap was Jamye Bellamy and Anna Torrence; and 1st in Senior small group tap were Sierra Beasley, Caitlan Coleman, Allison Moore, and Buckley Screws.

On Tuesday July 6, 2010 the final awards began at 6:30 and the local group was ecstatic with the nominations for Best Precision, Best Costume, Best Presentation and Best Choreography. Considering the company they were in being recognized was truly an honor. When the final, most coveted Richard Di Sarno Director’s award was named emotions were high as #3 “Everlasting Love” from The Southern Dance Connection was called.

Everlasting Love,” a tap routine choreographed by Jones and Johnson for five SDC students received the coveted Richard Di Sarno award as the director’s choice for the Best over-all performance. Of 810 routines performed over the four day period the dancers, as well as their parents and instructors were humbled and most grateful for their recognition with this prestigious award. Dancers Carlie Dixon, Bethany Lamb, Adrianna Minton, Lelyn Stewart, and Tori Wheeler performed the routine flawlessly in the first 15 minutes of the competition on Saturday, July 3 and won First Place in the category.

The Dance America Dancer of the Year semi-finalists were selected at the regional finals and were eligible to compete for the title of Petite, Junior and Senior DOTY. The contest begins once the dancers arrive at the National Finals. They spend their first day learning and perfecting their fabulous production presentation. On the second day along with production rehearsals the judges conduction an interview session and dance segment which accounts for 10% and 30% of their total score. The remaining 60% comes from the students national finals solo performance score. After perfecting their fabulous productions taught by Sarah Jo Fazio the DOTY’s received the honor of performing on the professional stage at the beautiful Beauty and The Beast theatre at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. “It is truly amazing to see so much talent dancing on one stage. What an inspiring experience. I am so thankful my students earned this wonderful opportunity, ”stated Johnson. DOTY’s from the SDC were Petite DOTY’s: Bridget Dixon, Calissa Mason, Annie Swan, Zoey Thomas, and Anna Wiggins and Junior DOTY’s: Caitlan Coleman, Carlie Dixon, Jessie Ivey, Bethany Lamb, Adrianna Minton, Kailie Sanders, Karley Sanders, and Lelyn Stewart.

Those attending the competition from the SDC were Bridget Dixon, Calissa Mason, Annie Swan, Anna Wiggins, Junior Company: Tiffany Ashley, Gracie Braddy, Carlie Dixon, Jessie Ivey, Miley Keaton, Anna Grace Lamb, Adrianna Minton, Hannah Parker, Karley Sanders, Lelyn Stewart, Zoey Thomas, Lauren Triplett, and Tori Wheeler Company: Sierra Beasley, Kim Bell, Jamye Bellamy, Madison Brett, Caitlan Coleman, Bethany Lamb, Mary McDaniel, Allison Moore, Kailie Sanders, Buckley Screws, and Anna Torrance.

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