Dance Mania scores at Jamfest

Dance Mania All-Stars took home four national titles from the Jamfest Super Nationals competition in northern Kentucky on Feb. 18-19.

“We went up there obviously to compete. But our open and senior teams were there to get our bid to worlds. Without the bid, we can’t compete at worlds,” Dance Mania All-Star member Stephanie Shaw said.

Shaw, who is an 11th-grader, is a member of the senior team at Dance Mania. At Nationals, the senior team came first in the jazz division and second in pom. It received an at-large bid for pom and a partial-pay bid for jazz. As a result, members will have to pay entrance for their pom dance in full, but the competition will cover half of the entrance fees for their jazz routine.

“I was very happy with how we did perform,” Shaw said. “I don’t think we could have done much better. In pom, we lost by 0.4 which stung a little bit, but when we go to worlds we will show that team what’s up.”

The junior team, which does not compete for bids, finished first in the pom and jazz divisions. The team also took national champions for the second year in a row. Freshman Alicia Ortiz, a member of the junior team, said performing at nationals was a great experience.

“When I was backstage, I felt so nervous. I was afraid that I would fall on stage,” she said. “However when I got on the stage, I was excited and had so much adrenaline running through my bloodstream, that my nerves disappeared. Also, the routine went by fast because I was caught in the moment because everybody in the audience watching and cheering.”

Worlds will be held at Disney’s Epcot on the last weekend in April, and the Dance Mania All-Stars will be sending its senior jazz and pom routines.

Dance Mania All-Stars is a year-round competitive dance program comprised of Florida students ages 3 to college. The program was established in 1999 and it holds more than 350 championship titles. In 2010, its senior pom team were world champions.

By Keiran Sheridan