By Mary-Justine Lanyon
(Photos: Yulia Hidajat)
Eleven dancers from the Lake Arrowhead School of Dance participated in the annual convention and competition sponsored by Dance Masters Pacific Coast at the Camarillo Academy of Performing Arts from March 24 to 26.
“Dance Masters of America is a dance teacher certification program,” explained Sharon McCormick, director of the Lake Arrowhead School of Dance. “Every year a chapter holds a convention and competition for their members.” McCormick is a member of Dance Masters Pacific Coast.
The Lake Arrowhead dancers competed in the Contemporary category, one of nine categories in the competition.
For their dance, “Thistle and Weeds,” choreographed by teacher Nicole Shelley, the girls – Cassidy Brotzler, Chloe Hoard, Emerson Knight, Gracie Stout, Jessica Stufkosky, Julia Bobadilla, Madison Cummins, Molly Galbreath, Nina Hidajat, Sarah La Bounta and Shiloh Holtzer – received a platinum award, the highest Dance Masters award, and First Overall in the Contemporary category.
Senior Jessica Stufkosky performed a solo, “Make You Feel My Love.” She also won platinum.
One of the dancers, Nina Hidajat, described the experience this way: “Dance Masters of America was an amazing experience! You get to dance with new people and make new friends while learning from professional dancers.
“During the DMA convention,” Nina said, “we take a total of five classes, each an hour long. Everyone is packed into a small room and we’re all sweating tons by the end of it, but you can tell that everyone is having so much fun and that we all share a love for dance.
“The atmosphere at the competition was nothing but positive and uplifting. You would never hear a belittling comment about another dancer. DMA was a great experience to bond with your teammates and get to know each other better. Overall, the experience was a dream and something I will never forget.”