Newman Dance is ending its season on a high note.
At a “Bedazzled” competition held at the River Run Centre in Guelph, the Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School dancers walked away with 13 awards, six of which were 1st place recognitions.
The school entered several dance teams comprised of different styles, including: Contemporary Line, Small Hip Hop, African Dance, Musical Theatre, Beyoncé Squad, Tap, Hip-Hop Line, Jazz Funk, and Small Contemporary.
In addition to 1st place wins, four teams were awarded Judge Choice Awards.
“These awards are great because they aren't necessarily for the top score or best dancers; they acknowledge the style, choreography, costumes, teamwork, stage presence,” said teacher Andrea Ferroni.
Awards were given to the Contemporary Line for "Captivating Teamwork and Choreography,” Small Hip-Hop for "Funky Class,” African for "Superb Style," and Hip-Hop Line for "Burnin' up the Stage."
“These awards always feel so great because they set our work apart from other routines and give recognition to aspects of the creative process that people often overlook or do not realize contribute to the success of a team."
Three Overall High Scores were given to the following teams: Contemporary Line, Small Contemporary Group and the Jazz Funk Large Group.
Beyond the trophies, medals and special awards, Newman Dance places a strong emphasis on many core values that are applicable beyond the dance world.
“Although it is feels rewarding to take-away hardware and decorate our studio, what is truly important are the lessons we learn in and outside of our studio,” said Ferroni. “I really stress the importance of creating a supportive and inclusive environment conducive to personal and interpersonal growth.”
Learning to embrace mistakes, take risks, practice discipline and share passion are all important elements that help build a cohesive unit and make for good life skills.
Confidence is another big one, said Ferroni, who noted that its off-stage benefits, like nailing a classroom presentation or interview are so crucial for students learning to feel comfortable in their skin.
“This year I have witnessed so many beautiful moments between our dancers that happened amidst the chaos of performances and shows that stand out more than any award. The program provides these dancers with a sense of belonging, medium for self-expression and creativity, and a place to take advantage of what their bodies are capable of.”