Sunday, December 21, 2014

Dance team sparkles in St. Paul

Chantelle Spuzak had no problem finding superlatives when asked about how the weekend went for her Dancemakers School of Dance team at the Hall of Fame Challenge in St. Paul.
“It was amazing—they did awesome,” beamed Spuzak, whose 21-member competitive squad not only cut a rug, they sliced it to ribbons with a dynamic display of five-star footwork.

Dancemakers carted home 35 awards in total from the event, surpassing even their coach’s expectations.
“They made me very proud,” declared Spuzak.
“They responded to the pressure and went out there like they were pros,” she added. “They have worked really hard to get to where they are.”
Maighyn DeGagne turned in the best individual performance by winning a platinum award for her contemporary dance routine done to the song, “Stupid Boy.”
The team also chalked up 15 high gold honours, 10 gold awards, four judges choice showmanship awards, two accolades for costumes and one each for feelings, entertainment and fabulous feet.
But the most courageous effort was unquestionably made by team member Raegen Woodgate, who showed pure heart in gutting her way through team routines in ballet, lyrical and jazz dance on Friday despite seriously twisting her ankle during practice only 15 minutes before the first routine.
Woodgate refused to bail out on her team, although her act of bravery left her confined to a wheelchair on Saturday, as she was unable to put any weight on the injured ankle and was forced out of competition.
“She was definitely a role model for the rest of the team,” emphasized Spuzak.
The dance season starts in September, with senior dancers putting in five hours a week training, while juniors spend two hours per week.
Spuzak also had a contingent of recreational dancers whom she is also constantly evaluating, encouraging any of those she feels has potential at the competitive level to take the next step.
“It’s not like you’re auditioning, though,” she clarified.
“Anyone who wants to do competitive is welcome to do so.”
Spuzak, whose team also competed at the Thunderstruck competition in Thunder Bay from Feb. 27-March 2, laughed at any comparisons between the Dancemakers environment and the at-times ridiculously over-the-top atmosphere seen on the hit Lifetime Network reality series, “Dance Moms.”
“That’s played up for TV,” she theorized.
“It’s not near as intense around here. Our parents keep a good perspective,” added Spuzak.
Dancemakers will host its annual year-end dance show at the Townshend Theatre on May 7 at 6:30 p.m., with this year’s theme being “Welcome to the Jungle.”
Tickets are available for $12 each at Simplicity Professional Hair and Body Care in Fort Frances.
Here are the results for the Dancemakers team at the Hall of Fame Challenge, with the dancer’s category listed, followed by their name, the routine name, the style of dance and their placing:
19-plus Age Division
Solo
•Brittany Martin — Take It All, contemporary, gold (1st place overall)
Senior Age Division
Solo
•Kassidy LeDrew — Country Girl, character, gold; Judges Choice Award (showmanship)
•Courtney Carlson — Brave, contemporary, gold; Black Cat, jazz, gold
•Summer Leonard — Wild Thing, hip hop, gold
•Danielle Hammond — Say Something, open, first place high gold; Judges Choice Award (intensity)
Duet/Trio
•Courtney Carlson, Danielle Hammond, Kassidy LeDrew — I Can’t Stop the Rain, modern, first place gold; Judges Choice Award (costume)
Junior Age Division
Solo
•Kenna Spuzak — Move it, jazz, high gold; Judges Choice Award (entertaiment award)
•Anna Peters — Stray Cat Strut, tap, high gold
Teen Age Division
Solo
•Maighyn DeGagne — Stupid Boy, contemporary, platinum; Roar, hip hop, high gold
•Kayla-Ann Allan — Witch Doctor, hip hop, first place high gold
•Jada Eide — Dark Horse, hip hop, gold
•Talyssa Kellar — Jungle Ship, hip hop, high gold; Butterfly, lyrical, high gold; Judges Choice Award (feelings)
•Raegan Woodgate — Welcome to the Jungle, jazz, high gold
•Gabi Peters — Deep in the Jungle, jazz, high gold
Junior Age Division
Small Group
•Keisha Debungie, Cheyenne Hanson, Anna Peters, Kenna Spuzak — Crickets, hip hop, first place high gold
•Kayla-Ann Allan, Cheyenne Hanson, Anna Peters, Kenna Spuzak — Funky Monkey, jazz, high gold; Judges Choice Award (costume)
Teen Age Division
Small Group
•Courtney Carlson, Maighyn DeGagne, Kassidy LeDrew, Gabi Peters, Raegen Woodgate — Bird on a Wire, Ballet, high gold; Judges Choice Award (showmanship)
•Kayla-Ann Allan, Courtney Carlson, Kailey Croswell, Maighyn DeGagne, Talyssa Kellar, Kassidy LeDrew, Marita Matias, Gabi Peters, Raegen Woodgate — Almost Paradise, lyrical, high gold
•Courtney Carlson, Maighyn DeGagne, Kassidy LeDrew, Gabi Peters, Raegen Woodgate — Jin Go Ba, jazz, high gold
Junior Age Division
Duet/Trio
•Anna Peters, Kenna Spuzak — Trash The Camp, tap, gold; Judges Choice Award (fabulous feet)
Teen Age Division
Duet/Trio
•Maighyn DeGagne, Kayla-Ann Allan — Trouble, contemporary, first place high gold; Judges Choice Award (showmanship)
•Kailey Croswell, Kassidy LeDrew — Jungle, lyrical, gold
Teen Age Division
Large Group
•Kayla-Ann Allan, Courtney Carlson, Maighyn DeGagne, Jada Eide, Talyssa Kellar, Kassidy LeDrew, Summer Leonard, Marita Matias, Gabi Peters, Raegen Woodgate — African Gold, hip hop, gold; Judges Choice Award (showmanship)

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