First national competition winning step for Minden dance studio
Emily Roe of MES awarded Diamond, 2nd Overall and “Most Entertaining” Award
Georgia Smilth of MES awarded Diamond, 4th Overall and “Technique” Award
Audrey Ruckman of CVMS awarded Ruby
Claire Penwell of CVMS awarded Ruby
Sadie Schumann of PHES awarded Ruby
Gracie Guzman of SES awarded Diamond and 4th Overall
Anya Harvey of CVMS awarded Ruby
Skyller Rice of CVMS awarded Ruby
Andie Murray of PWL awarded Diamond and 1st Overall
Emily Meier of CVMS awarded Diamond and 3rd Overall
Hannah Campbell of DHS awarded Diamond and 9th Overall
Hannah Denhoff of DHS awarded Diamond and 1st Overall
Megan Penwell of DHS awarded Ruby
Megan and Claire Penwell (CVMS & DHS) Tap Duo - Awarded Diamond and 3rd Overall and “Costume” Award
Sarah Guzman of AAD awarded Judges Choregraphy Award
“At Arms Length” - 1st Overall National Champion - Ruby Division
“Americano” - 1st Overall Division National Champion
“Dr. Dr.” Top 4 National Placing - Ruby Division.
Minden’s All About Dance competition team recently returned from its first national competition in Seaside, Ore., where the team received outstanding scores across the stage, said Creative Director Sarah Guzman.
The scores show the team’s perseverance, especially for Emily Meier,14, who recently overcame scoliosis.
Meier said she was diagnosed last summer after Guzman noticed her right shoulder was slightly higher than the other during a dress rehearsal at the studio.
“I couldn’t move my back as fluently as I could before,” said Meier. “I was just hoping it wouldn’t impact me from dancing.”
Scoliosis often begins as a baby’s back develops before birth. Development issues of the tiny bones in the back called vertebrae can cause the spine to curve. Often times doctors can detect this condition at birth. Or it may not be found until the teen years during growth spurts, like in Meier’s case.
“My back was at a 60 degree angle. One doctor said I may never be able to dance again,” said Meier.
She underwent a 10-hour surgery in November and was infused with titanium rods and bolts to straighten out her back.
After the surgery Meier was back on the dance floor by March when her recovery wasn’t expected until June, she said.
“It felt good, because I knew I was going to be able to dance again and it wasn’t going to stop me. Having my dance family and family be so supportive and encouraging really helped,” she said.
Meier said not only did it feel good to be able to dance again, but to be with her teammates again and help lead them to nationals.
“It’s like a second home here and the people help you get through hard times and keep your mind off of things,” she said. “It gives us the opportunity to meet new friends whether close by or across the state and country, I really enjoy it.”
At the competition Meier received Diamond and third overall.
“The anticipation of waiting to go on stage was probably the most nerve racking part, but it was fun,” she said.
Team member Hannah Campbell, 15, added that the team is like one big family and the competition felt more like a vacation.
““It was like a big road trip where we got to dance at the end which was a big plus. It was a lot of fun,” she said.
All About Dance’s competition team was formed in 2015 as a performance team with the option to compete. There were 15 girls starting out, said Guzman. This year there are 24 girls on the team.
“I think we definitely have a really good family aspect here and we continue to grow.”
All About Dance has been serving the Minden and Gardnerville area since 1994. Classes include ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, hip-hop, musical theater, barre, cheer, tumbling, and acting. They also have classes for adults.
“From a parent’s point of view, I think they teach so much more than dance, it shows in their confidence, team work and perseverance,” said Tracy Campbell. “The kids must love it, because they’re here right after school ready, determined and having fun.”
All About Dance is located inside the Ironwood Center at 1758 Highway 395 Suite D, Minden. For information call 782-3425.