Elevate Dance Thrives in Season Five

Elevate Dance in Antioch ended its 2021-2022 season with a bang at Bloom Dance Competition's Nationals. The studio received numerous awards for the highest scoring routines of the entire national competition. Elevate Dance then headed into its fifth season in September of 2022 ready for more.

Elevate Dance is a dance studio for many dancers of all ages, dancers that spend anywhere from thirty minutes to twenty hours a week in classes and rehearsals. Dancers can receive training in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip hop, pointe, musical theatre, creative movement, stretch/strengthening, and modern. Elevate Dance has not only become an esteemed and award-winning place for dance training, but it has become a welcoming and supportive home outside of home not only for the dancers, but for the parents, staff, and teachers as well.

Elevate Dance is owned and run by Lisa Stay, but this season the Artists in Motion (AIM) Competition Team has been lead by the newly appointed Artistic Director Hannah Johnson. Under her direction as well teachers Andi Bissen, Dana Emering, Buzzy Brown, Josh Brumm, Carla Garippo, Mae Bystrek, Sasha Lotz, and Abrielle Fitzpatrick the competition team continues to thrive and receive numerous accolades in competitive dance. This season so far, at ID Dance Competition the group lyrical routine "Hallelujah" (Choreography by Hannah Johnson) and soloist Dani Bissen with the tap routine "TCB" (Choreography by Andi Bissen) both received the ID Icon Award. They were two of very few routines chosen as "best in show". Two of the youngest dancers on the competition team Etta Rensner and Eli Urbanik also received first place overall with their tap duet "When I'm 64" (Choreography by Andi Bissen).

Just recently AIM attended Precision Arts Challenge in Milwaukee. Most of AIM's routines received a top Crystal score, and just about all of AIM's group routines placed in the top overalls. Two routines received the esteemed and rare PAC Attack Award, which means they were routines chosen to reperform as "best in show" finalists. One was a tap group routine "Roll Over Beethoven" (Choreography by Andi Bissen), and the other was a musical theatre routine "Mamma Mia" (Choreography by Dana Emering) with some of AIM's newest and young dancers. Three soloists also received the PAC Attack award as best in show finalists. AIM also had four dancers compete for the Miss Precision title, and all four of them placed in the top six. Dani Bissen with her same tap solo "TCB" (Choreography by Andi Bissen) won the honor of Miss Precision and she received a Precision Award, which is a near perfect score. To top it all off, Elevate Dance was only one of two studios to receive the Top Studio Award at Precision Arts Challenge, which means it was one of two of the highest scoring studios of the entire competition.

Elevate Dance's AIM Company has had an absolutely fantastic and successful 2022-2023 regional competition season, and now they look forward to Hall of Fame National Competition in July to compete against some of the toughest competition in the country.

Elevate Dance will also have eight graduating seniors this season, class of 2023, almost all of which have been with Elevate Dance since it first opened its doors. In the fall, Mae Bystrek (one of Elevate Dance's very own teachers and choreographers) will be attending Western Michigan University to major in dance, Claire Zutkis will be attending University of Iowa to major in Exercise Science and minor in dance, Teagan Friedlander will be attending University of Michigan to major in neuroscience and double minor in Spanish and dance, Sam Lethbridge will be attending Western Michigan for the direct admission nursing program, Raven Victoria will be attending College of Lake County to major in psychology and plans to transfer in two years, Gyra Leyson will be attending Carthage College for the direct admission nursing program, Emily Hedsund will be attending Illinois State University to major in studio art focusing on illustration, design, and mixed media art, and Jackie Thompson will be attending Illinois State University majoring in elementary education.

Elevate Dance wishes these seniors the best of luck, and is thrilled to see where their futures take them. They will forever be a part of the Elevate Dance family, and they will be greatly missed.

Elevate Dance also offers Adventures in Art every Friday from 6:15-7 pm. It is an art class that explores different artists and different forms of media every week. It is $15 per class and for all ages.

Elevate Dance's summer session will begin on June 12th. There are classes available in many styles for all ages and all levels. Auditions for the AIM Competition team are on June 10th and July 29th, prospective dancers are welcome to come either day. And, if you'd like to see what Elevate Dance is all about, you can catch their recital on June 3rd at Wilmot High School. There are two different shows at 10:30 AM and 1:30 PM. Tickets are $12 a person.

Elevate Dance is a wonderful home for many, and a fantastic place for not only dance training, but for helping kids grow in so many ways. If you're interested in signing up for dance classes, Adventures in Art, AIM Company auditions, or attending recital, please contact Elevate Dance by phone or email.

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