The year 2018 is off to a great start for the dancers at Ignite Dance and Yoga in North Bend. The competitive team of 121 dancers received several awards and high placements at their first event of the year, Rainbow National Dance Competition’s regional event in Seattle.
At the competition on the weekend of Jan. 19, the Ignite dancers received several awards from individual recognition to group performance awards. Katie Black, owner and coach at Ignite, said that while their dancers had done well at previous events, this was the biggest success they have had yet.
“This is a whole new level for us,” she said. “The studios we were competing against were extremely advanced, that’s why this kind of blew us away. We ended up scoring so high.”
Black said the team had 21 Dancer of the Year Finalists in various groups. Of those 21, three were winners. Ryann McDonald won the junior division, Parker Wiess won the teen division, and Kevin Wang won the senior division.
In addition to the winners, 59 students received high point awards for making it into the top 10 of their age group and 12 of the 59 were ranked first.
“You get a technical score, performance score, execution, costume score. They give you a number score and also give you a critique of your dance,” Black said. “They take the number score you got and do the top 10. That’s where we ended up placing with our overall. Every division we entered we ended up in the top 10.”
The senior level group dancers performed “Nothingness” a dance choreographed by Black, and won first in their large group category. The dance itself also won a choreography award that weekend. Both “Nothingness” and another routine called “Amazing Grace” were nominated for the Industry Dance Awards, as well.
Ignite’s tap dance routine “Water Fountain” received the Al Gilbert Tap Award. Black said she knew Gilbert, who was an influential tap dancer that had previously presented the tap dancing awards to the winners. After he passed away, the award was named in his honor.
Ignite dancers also received nine invitations to take classes at the New York and Hollywood Dance Invitationals. Black said the judges selected dances who stand out and would represent the studio and competitions as whole and invite them to the events. Both the West and East coast invitationals provide the high-school-age dancers a chance to see what the college and professional possibilities are like and help prepare them to pursue dance after high school.
“It’s to be immersed in the dance community, in the dance competition scene,” she said. “They bring in agents to talk about future dance jobs and do a big thing about colleges and dance.”
With such a successful competition performance behind them, the team is now looking forward to the national competition, this year being hosted in Seaside, Ore. from July 9 to 15.
“It’s been insane, in a good way, I feel so much responsibility to help these young people,” Black said. “When they graduate and move on into the world I want them to find success. To inspire and motivate and let the kids know they can be what they want.”