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Photo gallery: North Bend's Ignite teams explode in national dance competition
Their expressions fierce, their moves flowing, their footsteps in unison, the trio of dancers leaped and slid across the floor.
For all the seriousness of their skills, these dancers are surprisingly young. All are part of the junior-level lyrical dance team, part of the 52-strong competition contingent at Ignite Dance in North Bend, which recently cleaned up at a national competition at Burien’s Highline Performing Arts Center.
The wins show the dedication of dancers like Jessica Amans, a senior-level dancer who finds competition physically and emotionally fulfilling.
“That’s my dream right now, to be onstage and perform,” said Amans, a 19-year-old from Fall City. Dancing, she’s in the zone—”All I think about is to do what I love.”
When Amans started at Ignite two years ago, “I came in as a total hip-hop person,” she said. “They got me into so many the things. Now, I love jazz and hip-hop.”
Performance success “makes me want to go out and see what else is there for me,” she added.
Ignite opened about a year ago, offering recreational dance and yoga classes for youth and adults. The performance team has doubled in size since the first year, and still stokes its inner fire.
“They are so dedicated to practicing, at home, coming in extra, on the weekend,” instructor Katie Black said. “Just being in the class is a privilege, and they’re aware of that.”
Lots of awards
Team members as young as 4 and as old as 19 took part in the Highline event, held the weekend of Jan. 28. Ignite won multiple firsts.
At Burien, Ignite’s Nikki Thompson, 8, won Highest Scoring Dancer of the Year Finalist. The team received multiple awards for choreography; Black praised her core group of instructors, particularly Brittany Mains and Brenda Herman.
Nine-year-old Nina Horn placed first overall for all dancers in her 9-11 division, scoring above older dancers. The senior-level hip hop team won video of the year, and their video is part of a Facebook competition. If Ignite’s hip-hop team gets the most Facebook likes, it will get a promo video shoot from Rainbow Dance connection.
• Learn more about Ignite at www.ignitedanceandyoga.com.
Above, Ignite junior lyrical dancers Jonah Duvall and Jeorgia Rowell-Gimmeso show off a lift. Below, teens Rachel Massey, Karley Macmillan, Katelyn Stewart and Sammi Cesmat hone their moves at the studio.
Below, from top, are Nina Horn, 9, who placed first overall for all dancers in her 9-11 division, scoring above older dancers; the Junior Lyrical team performing at Burien; the Senior Hip Hop team in performance;