Dancers score big, set sights on Nationals

Indian Trail squad ready to hit the road again for competition

by Ciera Choate

The girls of Union County’s Sports and Fine Arts Center recently competed in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and will return there next week. Photo courtesy of Sports and Fine Arts Center

INDIAN TRAIL – Union County’s Sports and Fine Arts Center Dance Team scored in the Top 5 in six categories during their recent Starbound National Talent Competition in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Indian Trail team, which specializes in acrobatics, competed June 16 against the Candy Apples Dance School – featured on the Lifetime Network’s television show “Dance Moms” – and many other dance schools.

“(The dancers) were just ecstatic.  If anything it’s given them a shot,” Maresa Pettigrew, the owner and director of the Sports and Fine Arts Center, said. The team will now travel back to Myrtle Beach for their national dance competition, Show Stoppers, from Monday, July 2, to Saturday, July 7.

Sports and Fine Arts Center placed in the overalls in many categories from soloists to duos and trios to groups at the June 16 event.  Blaire Brown, 12, took third place in the junior soloists category; Kendyl DeVonde, 16, took third place for the senior soloists and Konner LaFon, 15, took first place for the senior novice soloists.

“We were really excited because (Candy Apples Dance) dances 10 to 12 hours a week, and we only dance three to five,” Pettigrew said.

In the competitive group category, the school took third place with their “Temple” routine and fifth place with their “Indifferent” routine.

The Sports and Fine Arts Center also placed third in the novice duo and trio category with their “Nothing Else Matters” dance and first in the competitive senior duo and trio category with their dance “Barely Hanging.”

Photo courtesy of Sports and Fine Arts Center

Pettigrew and her dancers were unaware the Candy Apples team was going to be at the competition until they arrived and had to sign waivers that would allow the camera crews to film them during the competition. While the television show is known for it’s high level of drama, Pettigrew said that was not apparent during the competition.

“In my opinion they are very talented, but they dance a lot of hours a week,” Pettigrew said.  “They were very respectful.  We didn’t see any drama, but there will probably be something that comes up on TV.”

When first arriving at the competition the dancers were star struck by the faces they were used to seeing on television, but Pettigrew said the hype eventually died down and the girls focused and did their best.  “We are pretty good and we have been working hard,” she said.

Now the team gets ready for their national competition. This will be the first time the school will take their 18 dancers and 12 routines to a national competition all together.

“Before this year I only took a couple of dancers, but this year we are all going together as a team,” Pettigrew said.

Along with competition classes, the Sports and Fine Arts Center also offers classes for those not interested in competing.  According to Pettigrew, they also allow students to take competition classes and learn the routines even if they do not plan on competing.

Find more information at the group’s website, www.sportsandfineartscenter.com or email sportsfineartscenter@windstream.net. The studio is located at 1426 Babbage Lane, Indian Trail.

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