FAIRBORN — The Miami Valley Dance Center (MVDC) just completed its first two dance competitions this season at West Carrolton and Mason High Schools.
Ranging in ages from 7-19-years-old, the MVDC Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, and Diamonds competed in 13 team Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, Contemporary, and Hip-Hop numbers and entered 38 solos, duets, and trios in the Kids Artistic Review (KAR) and Cathy Roe Ultimate Dance Competitions.
The Kids Artistic Review (KAR) is a national-level dance competition that spans over 40 cities across the United States. The KAR judges first evaluated each performance on technique, stage presence, and overall performance and then gave an overall rating of Second, First, Top First, and Elite Top First. Various dance categories and age groups were then combined for overall placement. Ten dance studios with over 260 entries across Ohio competed in the Dayton, Ohio KAR Regionals from Feb. 28 to March 1.
Ruby Jazz, the youngest MVDC competitors, came out strong on Saturday morning with a Top First for their “That’s What I Like” number, a “Diva-licious” judges award, the “Most Entertaining Primary Routine” award, and was the top scoring primary small group ages 8 and under. The Emeralds performed four numbers at the Kids Artistic Review including their tap number to “Electro Swing” which garnered an Elite Top First and placed 2nd overall in the intermediate small group ages 12-14. In addition, the Emerald Tap dancers were recognized as “All-Star Dancers” and were invited to take a series of Master Dance Classes with the world famous Rockettes in New York City this summer. “Do It Like This” by Emerald Hip Hop received a Top First, first in their category, and 4th overall high scoring intermediate small group ages 12-14. Also, the Emeralds received a Top First for their lyrical “Citizens” and a First for their Jazz performance of “Trance.”
MVDC’s solo, duet, and trio competitors captured 10 Top First’s, 3 Elite Top Firsts, and placed well among the competition. The duo of Abi Minton and Erin McCoy were recognized as “All-Star Dancers” and won the intermediate duo/trio ages 12-14 with their contemporary performance called “Strength.” Bailey Fahl was also named an “All-Star Dancer” for her “Spare Change” dance and took 3rd place overall for intermediate solos ages 12-14.
The musical theater performance of “Best Friend” by Nicole Cox and Carissa Vance placed 4th overall in intermediate duo/trio ages 15-19. In addition, Carissa Vance received a KAR Convention scholarship for her solo to “You’ll Find A Way” and placed 5th overall in the intermediate solo ages 15-19. The jazz duo of Brady Hooten & Madelyn Stankas performing “Tarzan and Jane” place 3rd in the primary duo/trio ages 8 and under. Abi Minton’s lyrical solo to “Winter” scored high enough for 6th place overall while Kennedy Chase’s tap solo to “Scatman” earned another “All-Star Dancer” spot and was 7th overall intermediate solo age 12-14.
Rounding out the competition, Julia Stultz was crowned 1st Runner-up Petite Miss Dance for her tap solo to “Wings,” Madison Wilson’s jazz solo “Hush Hush” received 9th overall intermediate solo for ages 15-19, and Kendal Fahl and Thaliyah Cools-Lartigue were named as Junior and Senior Photogenic Winners.
Two weeks later, the MVDC competition team traveled to Mason for three more days of intense competition at Cathy Roe Ultimate Dance. Bringing in an even larger number of dance studios and a wider variety of dances styles, the three distinguished judges evaluated each dance, assigned a numerical score with a special emphasis on technique and then gave a rating of Excellent, Excellent Top, Outstanding, Superior, and Ultimate Elite. Eighteen dance studios with 377 entrees from across the Midwest were represented at Cathy Roe Ultimate Dance Competition.
MVDC established a reputation for excellence right from the start as their solo, duet, and trio competitors earned 14 Superiors and nine Ultimate Elites. Kennedy Chase won the Teen Ultimate Miss Dance Title with her tap solo to “Scatman,” Julia Stultz was named the Miss Petite Ultimate Title Winner and received the “Petite Choreography Award” for her tap number to “Wings” and Jack Cerminaro won the Junior Ultimate Mr. Dance title for his solo to “James Bond.” In addition, Grant Shaffer placed 2nd for Junior Ultimate Mr. Dance with “Gomez” and Abigail Ross and Christina Ross placed 3rd and 4th in the Senior Ultimate Dance Title with “Mr. Hardman” and “Killing me Softly.”
The top scoring teen solo in the intermediate division went to Alicia Sylvester for “I’m Me” while Hannah Hooten received the top overall high score junior elite division for “Viva Le Swing.” Alexis Minton placed 2nd overall in the teen elite division with her contemporary solo “Wherever You Will Go” and earned the judge’s “Tip Toe Tappin’ Judges Award” for “I Want You Back.” The contemporary performance of “Break the Silence” by Abigail Ross, Christina Ross and Lexie Hooten received 2nd overall high score duo/trio in the teen elite division and also was awarded the judge’s “Beautiful Staging Award.” Alivia Accurso and Jack Cerminaro duet to “I Could Be the One” placed 2nd overall intermediate junior duo/trio while Brady Hooten & Madelyn Stankas earned 3rd overall high scoring intermediate petite duo/trio for “Tarzan and Jane.”
In addition to the individual placements, several MDVC dancers were selected for specialty performances in the Cathy Roe Ultimate Dance National Competition this summer. Christina Ross and Jack Cerminaro were nominated for the Dance Spectacular, Thaliyah Cools-Lartigue was named a “CRU Crew” dancer, Zoe Cerminaro was nominated for the Heart and Soul Dance Performance, and Madison Wilson, Kennedy Chase, Abi Minton, Alexis Minton, and Grant Shaffer were all named as Fashion Show Nominees.
In their debut performances, the MVDC Sapphires had the audience cheering. Sapphire Tap earned an Ultimate Elite, placed 3rd overall intermediate junior large group, and won the “Best Precision Award” for “A Cool Cat in Town.” Sapphire Jazz’s “Sharp Dressed Man” earned a Superior and 5th place overall in the intermediate junior large group. In addition, “I Don’t Dance” by Sapphire Hip Hop received a Superior and Sapphire lyrical received an Outstanding for “Wild Things.” The Rubies continued to shine as they earned an Outstanding and placed 2nd overall intermediate petite small group.
When Emerald Contemporary took the stage, they earned an Ultimate Elite for “Women- A Journey through Time” and placed 2nd overall senior elite large group. Emerald Hip Hop continued the streak as they netted another Ultimate Elite and placed 3rd overall in the elite teen small groups. Emerald Tap earned a Superior, Emerald Jazz received an Outstanding, and Emerald Lyrical was given an Excellent Top.
The MVDC Diamond Tap number, “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” took the entire competition by storm. They received an Ultimate Elite, were the top scoring senior elite small group, were the 1st Runner-up in the Choreography Review at the end of the competition, and went home with the 2nd overall highest score of the entire competition out of 377 entries. “Put a Spell on You” by Diamond Jazz also earned an Ultimate Elite and placed 2nd overall high score senior elite small groups while Diamond Lyrical’s “All Shook Up” garnered a Superior and 3rd overall high scoring senior elite large group.
The groups have set their sights on the April competitions again in Dayton and Columbus.
“What a fantastic start to this season. We’ve received some great feedback through the judge’s critiques and have been improving every day,” said MVDC Director, Kelly Fuller. “The dancers have been working extremely hard and we are excited to see what the next 3 regional competitions have in store for us. I feel extremely lucky to have great teachers and choreographers like Rachel Cloys, Amy Jones, Elissa Lyons, Kristin Massie, and Jennifer Priest who have helped me put these routines together this year.”
Fans can follow the team’s progress and competition results at the MVDC www.miamivalleydancecenter.com and on Facebook.