Over 420 dancers from 15 studios and an independent dancer from the Chicago Academy of the Arts participated in the sixth annual Des Plaines Dance Idol Competition on Friday and Saturday, February 7 and 8, at Prairie Lakes Community Center.
Aspirations Dance Company in Lombard, Buffalo Grove Park District, Dance Connection in Grayslake, Dance For Me Performing Arts Center in Elk Grove Village, Elmhurst Park District, Hoffman Estates Park District, HOTT Productions Dance Company in Schaumburg, Mundelein Park District, Roselle Park District, Saint Charles Park District, Stephanie's Academy of Dance in Montgomery, Streamwood Park District, Studio North Academy of the Performing Arts in Wilmette, Urban Beat Dance Company in Skokie, and Artistry in Motion, the in-house dance company of the Des Plaines Park District, competed in five categories: solo; duo/trio; small group; large group; and production.
Dancers were judged in each of four age divisions: 6-8, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-18; by industry professionals: Debra Nanni, independent master class instructor and modern dance teacher at Inaside Chicago Dance; Robert McKee, faculty dance instructor at the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago and master teacher for Chicago National Association of Dance Masters; and Lindsay Shepherd, a company member of Be The Groove rhythmic performance ensemble. Corinne Reggio, an instructor at the West Chicago Park District School of Dance also presented Specialty Awards in categories such as Presentation, Precision, Passion, and Future Idol.
A wide variety of dance styles and genre were represented including Jazz, Modern, Tap, Lyrical, Open, Musical Theater, Ballet, Pointe, Hip Hop, and Contemporary. Each dance performance was scored and presented with a First, Second, Third, or Merit Award based on points.
An overall First, Second, and Third Place trophy was then awarded for the Highest Score in each age group. In the 6-8 age group, First Place went to the Hoffman Estates Park District for "Please Mr. Postman," a small group jazz piece. This dance was also awarded the Best Presentation Specialty Award. In the 9-11 age group, Artistry in Motion Dance Company took First Place for "Thriller," a lyrical solo performed by Jordin Suwalski. Suwalski also won the Intensity Specialty Award. In the 12-14 age group, First Place went to Artistry in Motion Dance Company for "Girl with the Red Balloon" a small group lyrical number. The dance also won Best Presentation Specialty Award. In the 15-18 age group, First Place was awarded to Urban Beat Dance Company for "Candyland," a large group Hip Hop number, which also garnered the Most Entertaining Specialty Award.
"We congratulate all the dancers and participating studios at Dance Idol 2014. We believe that while competition is a necessary element of serious dance training, it is only one part of their overall education. We strive to expose young dancers to the artistry and beauty of all forms of dance and make dance a lifelong learning experience. We welcome all of these talented dancers back again next year," said Nancy Suwalski, Cultural Arts Supervisor for the Des Plaines Park District.
For more information about Artistry in Motion's Spring Showcase, visit www.DPParks.org or call (847) 391-5711.