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Dancers take home more than gold from competition

Local dancers earned several trophies. Photo provided (click for larger version)

Special to the Clarkston News

Premier Pointe Dance Company, Bella Pointe's competition team, earned 15 awards, including six gold, three high gold, and Top Choreography for "Slow Me Down" in competition, March 27.

The 12 dancers, 5-19 years old , competed against 10 other teams in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, character and Pointe.

Tera Renee, choreographer of "Slow Me Down," said she was very proud of her dancers and they exceeded her expectations at their first competition.

"It is a rush when you do well," said Marissa Van Horn, 13.

Gina Garavaglia, 13, said that having confidence to compete comes from a lot of practice.

The team spent months preparing, said studio owner and director Debra Wertz.

"The cost and hard work pales in comparison to the satisfaction of seeing all that hard work pay off," Wertz said. "Being on a competition team is a rewarding experience that will make memories that last forever. When a dancer is on a team, they form friendships and bonds that will continue even when their dancing days are over."

Mental preparation is an important element, said Alison Yardley, 13.

"If you feel confident then you do good," Yardley said.

Her sister Emma and fellow dancer Emielia Rekuta, both 11, said their secret for being mentally prepared is to tell themselves don't mess up.

"We stress sound work habits such as responsibility, dependability, initiative, adjusting to situations, coping with disappointment and working with others as a unified group, attributes we hope will remain with the student through school and into adulthood," Wertz said.

Excitedly, she talked about how proud she was of the girls because of their sportsmanship.

"They were extremely supportive of all the studios at the competition," she said. "They were congratulating everyone and wishing all the dancers good luck. They looked for the good in every team. They really came together as a team and worked together helping each other out."

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