Artistry in Motion, the in-house dance company of the Des Plaines Park District, took home several top honors at the 2013 DanceAmerica National Finals held at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center Hotel July 1-5. Forty-two companies from fifteen states and two Canadian provinces performed nine hundred and thirty nine pieces, competing for individual and group awards during the five days. Artistry in Motion performed thirty-six dances and received seven first, six second, seven third, four fourth, two fifth, and one eighth place awards.
Of special note, Kim Diebold was named Young Choreographer for her piece, Arms, performed by Meghan Hanrahan and Jordin Suwalski, which also won the Art Stone Award for Overall High Score for a Primary/Junior routine out of the 250 performed. Diebold placed in the top thirteen for Senior Dancer of the Year. Jordin Suwalski was named the winner of Best Technical Execution for Lionheart, choreographed by Cecilia Ferguson-Bell. She was also the First Runner Up: Petite Dancer of the Year and first Runner Up: Overall High Score in the Primary/Junior Female Solo Category.
Earning First Place awards were: Spanish Ballet, performed by Diebold, Georgina Genovesse, Hanrahan, Jackie Rentner, and Megan Swanson, and choreographed by Ferguson-Bell; You'll Find a Way, performed by Diebold and Hanrahan, and choreographed by Mary Williams; Blow Away, performed by Lynn Faye Anama, Nataley Grimmer, Natalie Sanchez, and choreographed by Allie Buchweitz; Feather Theme, performed by Ella Kurutz, and choreographed by Ferguson-Bell; Arms; Lionheart; and Sittin' on the Front Porch Swing, performed by Diebold, Genovese, Hanrahan, and Swanson, and choreographed by Laura Chiuve. Front Porch Swing was also nominated for Best Presentation in the Intermediate/Senior Division.
Artistry dancers earning second place awards were Top of the World, performed by Lyris Daker, Kim Fairhead, Rose Kurutz, Suzy Linek, Madison Rentner, Natalia Stephens, Suwalski, and Tess Wastyn, and choreographed by Anne Gnoth; Yellow performed by Daker and Fairhead, and choreographed by Ferguson-Bell; Second Hand Rose performed by R. Kurutz, and choreographed by Chiuve; My Momma Told Me, performed by R. Kurutz and Suwalski, and choreographed by Chiuve; Only If For a Night, performed by Bridget Donovan and Rentner, and choreographed by Ferguson-Bell; and Swag Life, performed by Mathew Skorupski.
Following the competition, dancers attended three days of Master Classes taught by some of today's most accomplished choreographers including: Billy Griffin, Sam Fiorello, Sarah Jo Fazio, Michael Clowers, and Mario Velez, Jr. The dancers were divided into groups by age, and had the opportunity to study Jazz Funk, Lyrical, Modern, and Jazz choreography, Musical Theatre Dance, Ballet, and Hip Hop.
"The success of this team is due to the incredible dedication of the dancers, parents, and experienced dance staff. The company worked extremely hard all year and the result is their participation and success at DanceAmerica. Experiences like competing at Nationals and taking part in the master classes that followed the competition help our dancers develop stage presence, technique, and self-confidence," Cultural Arts Supervisor Nancy Suwalski said. "We invite all dancers to attend our free Open House on Saturday, September 7 from 9:45am to 3:30pm and see what the Des Plaines School of Dance has to offer," she said. For more information about Artistry in Motion and the Des Plaines School of Dance call 847-391-5711 or visit www.DPParks.org.