Fredonia dancer wins talent scholarship

Mckenna Taylor, a dancer at Danza! Performing Arts Academy of Fredonia, was recently awarded a talent scholarship to be used at future dance conventions. Approximately 800 dancers attended an all-day workshop event and 10 scholarships were awarded based on dance talent, technique, performance ability and learning new choreography and material. Dancers ranged from the age of 9-20, all participants were eligible.

After attending a master class workshop series with some leaders in the industry, selected dancers were awarded talent scholarships to use to further their study of dance in the convention circuit. Among the prestigious teachers was Ellenor Scott, third runner-up in the acclaimed television series “So You Think You Can Dance,” who taught a rigorous contemporary class. Recently she has been commissioned to choreograph for a major Norwegian dance company and has toured with Janet Jackson.

The jazz instructor, Neil Haskell, also appeared on “So You Think You Can Dance,” was featured in several Broadway shows and worked with Twyla Tharp.

Instructor Comfort Fedoke was a top 10 finalist from season four of “So You Think You Can Dance,” and was an all star in seasons seven through nine. Other noteworthy credits include: The King of Pop Michael Jackson Tribute Tour in Germany (2009), stints on the hit FOX show “Glee,” the film “Honey 2” and the “Footloose” remake.

Tap teacher extraordinaire Suzy Guarino, who studied with tap legend Gregory Hines, and Jason Samuel Smith were also part of the elite faculty.

Mckenna Taylor is a fourth-grade student at Fredonia Elementary School. She is the daughter of Mark and Krista Taylor. McKenna is currently on her eighth year of dance class at Danza! Performing Arts Academy. She is enrolled in ballet, tap, jazz, Irish, musical theatre, hip hop, Afro-Caribbean and tumbling. Mckenna is also a member of the award-winning Danzaco Bella Dance Company which performs at a variety of community, charitable events and dance competitions. Mckenna also participates in the Danza! Diva cheer team, piano, voice and soccer.

Mckenna has received numerous awards at national competitions as a soloist and group dancer. She is also a 2012 recipient of the Xtreme talent scholarship. Most recently, at national competition, she received first place overall out of all soloists age four through 11 in all dance styles and received a perfect score for her solo “Show Off.” Mckenna has been invited to compete at nationals in Ohio, California and New York City from every event attended thus far in the 2013 season.