Collage Performing Arts Center dancers ‘dazzle’ at competitions

The Collage Performing Arts Center of Fredonia announces the results of four of the competitive dance teams that recently participated in the National Dance Championships in Orlando, Fla. The Collage dance teams have qualified and competed at the UDA national event for the past 15 years. The “NY Majestic” senior dance team performed in the semi-final pom and jazz dance competition the first day at Nationals. The team was awarded fifth place in the UDA National Pom dance division and sixth place in the jazz division. In addition to a top six finish at the UDA National Dance Championships, the senior team has experienced a very successful competition season by earning the Dance Division Grand Championship at the Blue Devils championship, Lake Effect Championships, Fire & Ice Championships, Cupid Cup, Rockin’ Rochester and Galaxy Championships at JCC.

This year’s senior team is led by team captains Naomi Greenstein and Janelle Jasinski. The team is coached by Caitlin Greenstein, who also choreographed their jazz performance piece. Senior dance team members are Sydney Bajdas, Annie Barnes, Mary Barnes, Emily Bartholomew, Stefanie Briggs, Heather Dorler, Naomi Greenstein, Sarah Hill, Sarah Koning, Janelle Jasinski, Mary Polvino, Brianna Price, Samantha Pucci, Nicole Roth and Averey Simmons.

The junior Majestic dance team earned fourth place in the junior jazz dance division. The dancers were elated with their place as they celebrated their highest place at Nationals in the past ten years. Score sheets credit the team with excellent technique and execution of technical skills. The junior team captains are Sarah Hill and Heather Dorler. The junior Majestics earned first place finishes in all local competitions preparing them for their performance at Nationals. The team is coached by Jenna Mansfield and Mariah Wojciechowski. Junior dance team members are Mary Barnes, Melissa Berg, Stefanie Briggs, Heather Dorler, Alizee’ Dziduch, Sarah Hill, Hannah Koning, Mary Polvino, Catie Roth and Averey Simmons.

In the youth division the Collage PAC was represented by the “Hot-Shot” dance team. The team earned fifth place in the jazz division and sixth place in the pom division. The team has consistently earned top honors in their divisions this year including one Grand Championship award. Hannah Koning and Mary Barnes served as team captains. Members of the Hot-Shot dance team are Melissa Berg, Alizee Dziduch, Hannah Fetterick, Jordan Gabel, Kaelyn Hadley, Catie Roth, Emma Seiders and Maya Vecchio. The coach and choreographer is Jenna Lee Mansfield.

The CPAC “Diamond Girls” dance team, ages 5 to 7, demonstrated their splits, kicks, jumps leaps and turns with enthusiasm and earned a third place in the jazz division and seventh place in the hip-hop division. The team is coached by Corinne Rukavina and Sarah Hill. Diamond Girl team members are Kaitlin Hayes, Abby Roth, Ava Rukavina, Gabby Spinuzza and Kara Vecchio.

The Collage competitive dance teams were the highest scoring dance team from NY at the largest national dance competition in the United States for the fifth consecutive year.

The NY Majestic junior and senior dance teams travel to Orlando, Fla., annually to compete with the best dance teams from all over the United States. The national competition is produced by Universal Dance Association and will be televised on ESPN in April.

The Collage PAC dance teams qualified for the national dance championships in July at the northeast regional dance championships at Slippery Rock University of Pa., with seniors earning first place in the pom and jazz division at the regional championships. The top three scoring teams from the regional championships are eligible to compete at the national competition. The junior team earned first place in the pom division and first place in the jazz division at the qualifying meet.

The Hot-Shots earned first place and the Diamond Girls qualified with two first place trophies at the regional qualifier.

Each team selected two dancers to receive the additional honor to represent their team on the UDA All-Star Performance Team. The Collage selected dancers for 2013 were Melissa Berg, Mia Gullo, Kaylee Hamm, Hannah Koning, Kaelyn Hadley, Mary Polvino, Naomi Greenstein, Annie Barnes, Janelle Jasinski and Brianna Price. These dancers joined 150 all-star dancers and performed a four-minute routine in the ESPN opening dance number that will be aired at the opening of the telecast in April.

Competitive team dancers are required to enroll in ballet, jazz, hip-hop and tumbling classes at the Collage Performing Arts Center year-round. The dancers receive their ballet training from certified instructor Karen Schrader; hip-hop instructor Jennifer Russo; jazz instructor Jenna Lee Mansfield; jazz instructor Caitlin Greenstein; and director Marci Williams-Hadley. Team members train approximately eight to 15 hours per week in dance classes and team practice.

The Junior CPAC team is currently preparing routines for the StarQuest dance championships held in Pittsburgh, Pa., next month. The team has a chance to qualify for Nationals in San Diego, Calif., in July.

Following the culmination of the competition season dancers will be preparing for their many performances in the Collage annual dance recital. This year’s production “Shake it Up!” will be held at the SUNY Fredonia Marvel Theatre on June 6, 7, and 8. Call 679-3501 for more information on the performance.