Local dance students compete in Hattiesburg
Published 7:00 am Saturday, March 7, 2015
Last month, members of Picayune’s X-Finity Dance Academy competed at Dance Teachers United 2015 in Hattiesburg.
According to the Dance Teachers United’s website, the non-profit organization is geared toward studio dance teachers throughout the south. The group offers conventions, dance competitions and scholarships to Dance Teachers United member students.
X-Finity owner E. Jae James said that 15 studios competed at the competition.
“There are two different competition categories, which are recreation and competitive,” James said. “Our group took part in the competitive part.”
There are five rankings for dancers to earn beginning with silver, emerald, gold, platinum and diamond, James said. The competition portion is held on Friday and Saturday and workshops are taught on Sundays.
Three of James’ students earned scholarships. Jaeda Griffith was awarded one for tap, Bella Dolla received one for contemporary and Yalanda Williams received one for ballet.
“The scholarship recipients received a free workshop for next year’s event,” James said. “Other workshop categories include jazz and musical theater.”
X-Finity students received numerous accolades including Kaycee Kelly who placed platinum and second overall for petite solo for her jazz solo “Ms Doc.” Yalanda Williams was also awarded platinum and second overall petite solo for jazz solo, “Proud Mary.” Jaeda Griffith received platinum for her jazz solo, “Sassy,” and Bella Doll earned platinum for her contemporary solo, “Self Perception.”
Allyson Crocker earned the gold for her hip-hop solo, “Get it Girl.” Claire Hudson received platinum for her contemporary solo, “Hanging by a Thread.”
The gold went to Lacey Polderman for the contemporary solo, “Who you are,” and Ashanti Bullock also earned gold for the jazz solo, “Boyz Boyz.”
Camille Lee earned gold for her musical theater number “Wild Wild Party and gold for Aubree Lee’s lyrical, “My Heart Will Go On.”
Narayana McGill earned platinum for her musical theater, “Mr. Monotony.” Caroline Nelson earned the gold for the lyrical solo, “Young and Beautiful.”
Kamerin Cleveland’s open solo, “The Dance” earned gold and Christien Trotter’s hip-hop solo, “Massive Attack” received platinum.
Madison Buck’s lyrical solo, “I Will Always Love You,” placed gold and Narayana McGill’s contemporary solo “1+1/How Will I Know,” earned diamond and sixth overall senior solo.
The junior open trio earned platinum and placed fifth overall for “Flawless Behavior,” and the junior hip-hip earned platinum and placed sixth overall for “Werkin Girls.”
The junior small group earned platinum and fourth overall for “One Last Moment” and the “Fly or Fall” performed by the senior trio was awarded platinum and placed fifth overall.
The teen duet “Reconciliation” earned platinum as well as the senior trio’s “Smooth Criminal.”
The teen trio’s “Sound of the Drum” earned platinum and the senior large group ‘s “Shoulder to Shoulder” earned platinum.
The teen large group’s “Cha Cha Heels” earned diamond, placed fifth overall and was awarded the judge’s award. The senior small group’s “Run” and production’s “House Party” earned platinum.
James said that some of his students were recognized in the event’s classes to demonstrate moves and combinations.
Jaeda Griffith and Yalanda Williams were recognized for tap. In the ballet class, the instructor recognized Camille Lee and Bella Doll. In the jazz group, Patricia Boar, Jaeda Griffith, DeCarlos Jenkins and Kamerin Cleveland were recognized. Ashanti Bullock and Bella Doll shone in musical theater.
“They did a great job,” James said. “The dancers can always use this as a stepping stone. They can utilize commentary and judges’ critiques to help them excel and perform better. There is always room for improvement. They also witness how other teachers instruct and how to move around other dancers. The students can take what they learn and continue to strive for excellence.”
X-Finity Dance Academy is located at 1421 Goodyear Blvd. For more information, contact James at 601-606-0622 or visit the website at www.xfinitydance.com and through Facebook at X-Finity Dance Academy.
Learn more about Dance Teachers United at www.d-t-u.com.