FAIRBORN — After fine showings at four regional competitions, the Miami Valley Dance Center (MVDC) team packed up and headed south to sunny Fort Walton Beach, Fla., for their final competition of the 2014 season.
Twenty-one talented dance studios from Florida, Tennessee, Louisiana, Ohio, Michigan, Texas, Mississippi, Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, and Georgia vied for awards and recognition at the Masquerade National Dance Competition from June 30 through July 5. The competition was fierce with over 610 individual and team entries in Lyrical, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Production, and Hip-Hop. As the only dance team from the state of Ohio, MVDC made some noise with strong team placements and top individual awards.
Early in the week, MVDC’s solo and duet competitors were recognized by special judge’s awards and high point placements. Julia Stultz was named the top scoring petite intermediate soloist with her tap solo to “Wings.”
Alivia Accurso’s and Jack Cerminaro’s “I Could Be the One” was 2nd overall high score junior intermediate duos. “James Bond” by Jack Cerminaro collected a 3rd overall placement in junior intermediate solos while “Sweat” by Thaliyah Cools-Lartigue secured 4th overall teen intermediate solos. Alexis Minton’s tap solo, “I Want You Back,” placed 5th overall senior elite solos and Alicia Sylvester’s “I’m Me” garnered the “True Colors” judges award and 6th overall teen intermediate solos.
Once the team competition began, MVDC’s Sapphire Tap took home a Platinum, an Audience Choice Nominee for Best Tap Routine, and 3rd overall junior intermediate small group for their performance of “A Cool Cat in Town.” Sapphire Jazz’s “Sharp Dressed Man” garnered a High Gold and 5th overall junior intermediate large groups. Both Ruby Jazz and Sapphire Lyrical earned a High Gold for “That’s What I Like” and “Wild Things.” Sapphire Hip Hop’s “I Don’t Dance” received a Gold. Finishing strong, the MVDC Emeralds collected four High Golds and a Gold for “Electro Swing,” “Do It Like This,” “Citizens,” “Women- A Journey through Time,” and “Trance.”
Diamond Tap’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Something” netted a Platinum, received the “Slam Dunk” judges award, and was 2nd overall senior elite small groups. “All Shook Up” by Diamond Lyrical scored a Platinum and a nod as an Audience Choice Nominee for Best Lyrical Performance. Diamond jazz received a High Gold for “Put a Spell on You.” In addition, MVDC was awarded a special “Class Act” judges award for great sportsmanship and the overall Masquerade National Dance Competition “Spirit Award!”
On the final day of the competition, the top scoring team/solo/duet and several judge’s choices performances were invited back to compete in a dance off for Masquerade National titles. MVDC’s entries included Julia Stultz’s tap solo, the Accurso-Cerminaro duet, Diamond Tap, and the solos by Alexis Minton as she competed for National Dancer of the Year. The Dancer of the Year competition included an audition-like series of closed-session classes where the nominees would be judged on classroom etiquette, technique, discipline, and presentation. In addition, the top five dancers performed a solo of their choice on finals nights for the remainder of their score.
After the opening number, featuring the Masquerade Parade of Stars (including Alexis Minton), the MVDC nominees left it all on the dance floor. Alexis Minton was named Senior Dancer of the Year and Diamond Tap’s “Wanna Be Starting Something” with Nicole Cox, Alexis Minton, Abigail Ross, Christina Ross, Tori Thornton, and Madison Wilson came out on top as the Senior Encore Winners.
“What an amazing season,” said Miami Valley Dance Center Director, Kelly Fuller, reflecting on the 2014 competition season. “We continue to push our dancers to new limits and they rise to the occasion every time. We are so proud of their accomplishments and can’t wait to see what 2015 has in store for us.”
After a brief summer break, the dancers will begin the audition process for the 2015 competition team, the music will be chosen, and the choreographers will begin arranging the routines. MVDC offers classes for students age 3 through adult at a variety of levels in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Irish and will be holding open registration for fall classes from 12-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23 at the studio at 330 North Broad St.
Story provided by Miami Valley Dance Center.