By Odalis A. SUAREZ
Students from Revolution Dance Center (RDC) in Montrose leaped and twirled their way to victory, earning the title of national champions after competing in Las Vegas this past June.
The Encore Performing Arts National Competition took place at the Alexis Park Resort Hotel from June 21 – 24 when the local dancers competed with eight other studios from across the United States. Approximately 70 out of the 846 students who attend RDC competed. They were chosen by RDC directors to represent Julie Kay’s dance company in Las Vegas after going through a rigorous try-out process.
“We practiced every Wednesday and some Sundays,” said RDC owner and director Julie Kay Stallcup, who began rehearsals with the group in July 2009.
The competition was separated into numerous categories including age, group type, and division. The divisions are divided by level of difficulty with the first level being the easiest, the second an intermediate level, and the third the most difficult.
Arriving in Las Vegas, Stallcup and her dancers brought a trailer full of props, prepared to present a total of 86 routines: 50 solos, duets, and trios and 36 group performances. The routines ranged in genres from ballet to tap to jazz and even hip-hop.
Of all the routines performed over the four days of competition, 41 RDC dance pieces made it to the top 10 while five earned first place recognition. The studio’s biggest victory was a jazz/contemporary dance entitled “Rat Race,” which garnered the group a first place win to receive a platinum medal. The dance was categorized as a Division 3 – small group performance.
Hilary Morris-Pawlick, who has worked within the television and film industry, choreographed “Rat Race.”
“It’s basically a statement about the rat race of corporate America of people trying so hard to get ahead but instead stay in the same place,” said Morris-Pawlick of the meaning behind the winning dance routine.
With confetti raining from above the stage and tears rolling down Stallcup’s face, it was a momentous occasion for the group when it received its clear glass trophies.
“Hard work truly pays off in the end. If you’re dedicated
and passionate [with] what you do, you can’t fail,” said Stallcup. “I truly believe that there is
no ‘I’ in team. We go as a
group and we end as a better group.”
In addition to their winning dance routines, individual dancers won separate awards during the competition. Brooke Bell from La Crescenta was awarded Miss Photogenic and Jestena Galvin of Sun Valley was presented with the title of Miss Junior Encore.
According to Stallcup, Galvin’s award is “a really high honor.”
After receiving their awards, the celebration wasn’t over for the dancers. As part of an RDC tradition, the dancers went to the hotel pool and jumped in while wearing their costumes.
“It’s really silly, but fun,” stated Stallcup.
As for the 2011 national competition, Stallcup is giving her dancers the year off. However, she does plan on entering her studio in the 2012 Encore Competition when that time arrives.
“We only do nationals every other year. [It] gives everyone a break,” she said.