Artistry began its competitive season in January when we attended JUMP Dance Convention and Competition. Ten of our dancers attended the workshops all weekend in the JUMPstart, Mini, Junior and Teen rooms. Our dancers were able to take class from some of the best teachers and choreographers in the business including Katy Spreadbury, Wade Robson, Misha Gabriel, Mike Minery, Nika Kljun, Erica Marr, Colby Shinn, Kirsten Russell and Akira Uchida. JUMP is the largest dance convention in the world, touring 26 cities with dancers traveling from all over the world to compete and take class. It was an intense weekend for our dancers filled with hard work, focus, pushing comfort zones and trying new things. Our dancers competed solos, duets and trios and did wonderfully. Finley Williams placed 10th Overall at this incredibly hard competition with her first solo performance ever. Finley and Cami Kilgore also received a dance scholarship and were recognized for outstanding performance in the Jazz, Lyrical Contemporary classes. This scholarship offered attendance to the 2018 DancerPalooza Intensive in California.
In February, we headed to LA Dance Magic Convention and Competition. This was Artistry’s first all company competition of the season. Our dancers did extremely well and learned so much. The took classes from LA Dance Magic staff including Jackie Sleight, Dave Carter, Albert Cattafi, DJ Guthrie, Christian Vincent, Will Thomas, Scott Fowler, Eddie Moody and Julie Kay Stallcup. We chose LA Dance Magic because they strive to provide the best possible family environment for dancers, teachers, directors and parents to enjoy their competition experience. LA Dance Magic’s Founder and Director, Jackie Sleight, believes in the importance of teaching students about commitment, integrity and hard work. LA Dance Magic wants students to know that having the discipline to work hard every day will make them better people and better performers. This kind of diligence has a high price, but the payoff is always higher. This message aligns with Artistry’s core values and we appreciate all that Jackie and her team provided for our dancers.
In March, we headed to Starbound Dance Competition at Hemmen’s Theater in Elgin, Illinois for another all company competition. Our dancers were strong and beautiful and did extremely well earning Platinums and High Golds all weekend. Our soloists made us proud: Arabella Suarez placed 4th overall in Junior Prep, In the Elite Junior Solo division Ellie Lighthall placed 10th overall, Lola Espinosa placed 9th overall, Kaylie Kilgore placed 8th overall , Sarina Simonelli placed 7th overall, Abigail Ibarra placed 3rd overall and Finley Williams placed 2nd overall. In the Elite Senior Division Mia Henrikson placed 9th overall. Amazing! These dancers have also been asked to perform in the open number at the Nationals Showdown Finale. In the Elite Junior Duet/Trio division Woman Up placed 5th overall, I’m A Lady placed 3rd overall and Fly placed 2nd overall. In the Elite Group division The Boxer placed 5th overall and Wash placed 3rd overall. In the Elite Production division Dear Me placed 3rd overall. To finish out the weekend four Artistry dancers; Courtney Cerniglia, Abigail Ibarra, Sarina Simonelli and Finley Williams, received the New York Dance Experience Scholarship. This scholarship allows them to take class this summer at our Nationals from professional dancers including SYTYCD alumni, Broadway legends, Film and TV stars as well as Alvin Ailey and Complexions principal company dancers. These dancers will also have the opportunity to audition for dance agencies and representation. This is an amazing opportunity for these hard working dancers.
In April we competed at the Hall of Fame Dance Competition in Schaumburg, Illinois. Our dancers were on fire and did extremely well against some of the toughest competition in the country. Our dancers received Platinums and High Golds throughout the weekend along with1st place in American League Category, Judges Choice, Specialty Awards and 8th overall in the American League Teen Category. 6 of our dancers, Finely Williams, Cami Kilgore, Courtney Cerniglia, Abigail Ibarra, Morgan Simpson and Mia Henrikson, were selected as Hall of Fame All-Star Dancers. To say this was a hard competition is an understatement and these dancers did an incredible job!
In May, Artistry dancer Finley Williams competed at Legacy Dance Championships and won 2nd overall as well as 1st runner up for the title of Miss Junior Legacy. Great job Finn!
Our final regional of the season was In10sity Dance Competition in St. Charles, Illinois. 15 Artistry dancers attended bringing solos, duets and trios. The talent at In10sity was again incredible and Artistry did an outstanding job. Platinums and High Golds were achieved along with 2nd overall in the Mini Debut Solo Category by Everley Williams. Finely Williams and Cami Kilgore were named Chicago Junior In10sive Dancers, Lola Espinosa and Sarina Simonelli were named Chicago Teen In10sive Dancers and Morgan Simpson and Mia Henrikson were named Chicago Senior In10sive dancers. We are also incredibly proud of Artistry dancer Mia Henrikson for participating in the In10sity Improv Competition. She did extremely well! It takes a lot of bravery and confidence to compete in this and we are very proud of Mia.
This Artistry team has worked extremely hard and accomplished so much in our first full season. We cannot wait to see what this team can achieve at Starbound Nationals this July!