At the beginning of the month, the girls and I traveled down to Orange County for the LA Dance Magic National Finals. Jade’s team had to qualify for nationals at a regional competition in Utah. They had worked really hard and did a fantastic job at regionals but this was our first national competition and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
We arrived on Monday afternoon for a rehearsal. There were teams from Michigan, Texas, California, Utah and Arizona. (And since I didn’t get a program, I don’t remember from where else they traveled). The Hyatt was crawling with adorable dancers (and softball girls in Irvine for a championship). I expected Jade to get nervous and crawl into her shell – but instead she rose to the occasion and was out-going and super happy.
Tuesday was the day for solo competitions. The age divisions were Junior Prep (7-9), Junior (9-13), Teen and then Senior. We had quite a few competing in all of the age divisions but I only attended the Junior Prep and Junior competition. Jade and most of her team were in the Junior category – which was difficult because they were all on the bottom end of the age group.
The studio did an amazing job. There was one of our girls in Junior Prep and she took first place and won a cash prize. Then we had 4 girls in Junior division. All 4 of them received high gold scores (platinum is the highest – but no one got that in their division). I was really impressed with the competition and was shocked when our 3 nine year old girls from our studio all scored in the top 5 while our one older girl took 1st place! (4 out of the top 5 were all from our studio!)
Wednesday (or the 4th of July) was finals for all of the group numbers. Jade’s group competed in 3 numbers for their age division and then they were in a production number that was in the Teen category.
Jade danced these 4 dances the best I have ever seen her dance. It was so much fun. (Even though I wasn’t allowed to take pictures). There was so much energy with the kids and enough genuine smiles that made it all so worth the trip!
At the end of the day, the kids took 1st or 2nd for each of their genres. Plus they were invited to compete in the Xtreme Dance Challenge. In Junior (ages 9-13) they took 3rd place overall and in the production number they took 1st overall.
Pretty fun being a National Champion! And yes, the excitement of the kids shows how proud they were to have worked so hard and then delivered on the day that it counted.
I may not be a “dance mom” but I sure do have fun watching my daughter grow and develop her talents.
Tune in for the next post about the lessons learned and the growth experienced by attending a National competition.