Local dance teams take top honors at national dance competition

Members of Brittany's Elite Stars who participated in Dance Showcase USA in late June include, top row, from left: Kena McMichael, Rebecca Orr, Kathryn Smith, Emily Westerman, Mariah Porter, Dafne Lara, Claire Tipton, McKinlee Maldonado, Jaymee Zaehringer, Gabby Apolskis, Katelyn Henslee, Lily Wooddell, Laney Harwell.

Center row, from left: Kirsten McDaniel, Sophie Jernigan, Kailee Galvan, Averyee Goff, seniors Nicole Hinton and Maddie Hughes, Gracen Sprayberry, Macy Ray Sexton, Sarah Lackey.

Front row, from left, Xyleigh Schmitt, Lanie Seal, Avery Orr, Kayla Leon, Jasmine Garcia, Maycee Evans, Naomie Rodriguez, Gabriela Galvan.

Members not pictured are Leann Hickmon, Zoe Ramirez, Amber Dickey, Aubrey Johnston and Zoe Rodriguez.

Competition dance teams from Brittany's Elite Stars Dance Studio of Jacksonville competed at in the Dance Showcase USA nationals, held at the end of June in Dallas. There were more than 50 dance studios from Texas and surrounding states competing to become national champions.

We had 26 dances competing at Nationals. Our season was cut short because of the pandemic, with teams only being able to participate in two other competitions, but luckily, we got to compete at Nationals to end our season. 

Things were very different this year at Nationals: Dancers and parents had to be separated into different days; masks had to be worn unless teams were dancing; only two family members per dancer were allowed to watch; and awards were presented virtually after everyone had danced that day.

Nine of the Brittany's Elite Stars 26 dances advanced to finals! The finals also were virtual, instead of in person, but in the end, three of our dances became national champions in their divisions!

Senior Elite Tap, Production and the Macy Ray Sexton and Claire Tipton Duo all were ranked first in nationals during the Dance Showcase USA.

In addition, Rebecca Orr and Sophie Jernigan ranked second in nationals with their duo, while Senior Elite Hip-Hop ranked fourth in nationals. Small Elite Hip-Hop ranked fifth at nationals, as did Intermediate Elite Lyrical and Maddie Hughes Solo. Junior Elite Lyrical ranked third in nationals!

Despite everything, we have been through this season, the girls practiced together and fought hard to dance and win it all! It was great for our seniors to participate in a final competition and to win one last time before they went off to college.

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