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sparkles lund DOTY

ALEXANDRA LUND WINS NATIONAL DANCER OF THE YEAR FOR THE THIRD TIME

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COVID-19 impact forced competition online with more than 150 entrants in scores of States around the county          

July 13, 2020 – Arroyo Grande, CA – Last weekend, 17-year-old dancer, actress, and model Alexandra “Sparkles” Lund of Arroyo Grande, California, was selected by Hollywood Vibe as their 2020-2021 National Dancer of the Year. Alexandra, whose professional dance nickname is “Sparkles,” previously earned two national championships in 2012 at age 9, and again in 2015 at age 12.

After the impact of COVID-19 closed in-person classes, the California native from the Central Coast was able to train virtually via leveraging Zoom classes online.

“Virtual classes are definitely inferior to the experience of a live studio class where you can dance collectively and be inspired by other dancers,” says Lund. “But my time teaching and taking classes on Zoom during the pandemic with my experience working in front of the camera for television and Sparkles Lund on YouTube channel definitely came in handy! No one ever envisioned a National competition online, but so many dancers had worked so hard over the year, and Hollywood Vibe made it happen online – I’m so glad they did!”

In addition to her national dance competitions awards, Sparkles has a long history of dance.  She started her career as a dancer in the “Just Dance Kids” video game and has had guest appearances on Disney’s “Bazaardvark,”” NBC’s “The Voice,” ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” earning her admission into the Screen Actors Guild. Lund’s work also includes work on commercials, theatre, and music videos, highlighted by dancing with Justin Bieber on his Purpose Tour.

“This has been a year of highs and lows,” says Alexandra Lund. “Along with other Seniors across America, I missed out on so many events that define the senior year of high school like prom and graduation. Being quarantined at home is hard for everyone, but I focused my time and energy into my dance by training in my garage that my dad converted into a dance studio.  And it all paid off.”

In addition to practicing her dance, Lund also stayed busy by managing social media channels for the Choreographers Alliance and The Camp Intensive. At the same time, she continued to work as a brand ambassador for the international dance wear company Capezio.

Training in Pismo Beach at Dellos Performing Arts Center under the direction of Johnna Clark, Lund graduated this spring from Arroyo Grande High School as an Honors Student. She plans to attend Syracuse University’s SI Newhouse School of Public Communications. The Syracuse University Lady Orange Dancers Division 1 dance team selected Lund as one of only two first-year students who will dance for the University this fall.

Video Announcing her selection – 

 

DOTY Solo – 

 

Hollywood Connection Burbank

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Hollywood ConnectionHollywood Connection in Burbank was fantastic this year. It was the first time that Dellos Performing Arts Center (DPAC) has returned to HC since 2014. I am pretty sure that Hollywood Connection was the first competition that I ever went to. Hollywood Connection was the convention that awarded me my first National Dancer of the Year Award in 2012, an award they call Icon of the Year.

Hollywood Connection is also owned in part by my first talent agency, MTA. They were my first agents, and sent me out on my first auditions as a 10 year old, launching my professional dance career.

In so many ways, going back to Hollywood Connection was like a family reunion. As Icon of the Year, I spent a year touring with them as their DOTY. I can gratefully say that those many weekends of working with Executive Director Kimberly Rhinelander, Executive Director and Agent Bill Bohl, Jazz teacher Lindsley Allen, Lyrical Mitchel Federal, Jazz Funk Brooklyn Jai, Musical Theater Bonnie Story, Tap Jason Kalish, and Hip Hop Gigi Torres shaped by love of dance and introduced me to the industry as a professional dancer. This core group was teaching there back in 2012-2014 when our studio first introduced me to them. I am so thankful for the encouragement and opportunity to do what I love.

This year was an entirely new set of firsts for me. DPAC has allowed me teach 5 classes a week at the studio. This led to me choreographing a hip-hop solo for a 12 year old dancer, and assistant choreographer to our production hip-hop dance. Watching your choreography on stage for the first time is a completely different experience. I had no clue how the judges would react to the dancer I helped train do perform the choreography that I created. It worked out great! They loved it and she won!

On a personal level, I accomplished one of my goals for this year as a dancer. If you know my mom and dad or my mentor Liz Imperio, they are into strategic planning and goal setting. One of my goals for the year is to get a double platinum or Titanium score (perfect or nearly perfect score). It is the highest award that the judges give for dances. I am happy to say that five of my dances were given Titanium scores at Hollywood Connection. I was overwhelmed.

As a 15 year old dancer, I am now one of the youngest of the Producer (Senior) group – 14-19 year old dancers. I did not expect that I would be good enough to compete with older dancers who have had many more years of training. I went back and looked at a post I wrote in 2014 when I attended Hollywood Connection as an 11 year old. Like this year, I had just stepped up into a new age group then too (guest star, 11-13), as an 11 year old and was intimidated by the awesome dance of the 13 year olds. That year, my friend Danielle Esposito came in first and I got a second.

My contemporary solo, choreographed by Cat Cogliandro was the highest scoring senior solo of the weekend. My duo partner and long time friend Trevor Quezada was awarded the highest overall scoring solo. Trevor graduates this year, and has been accepted to some great dance programs for college. I am glad he won. This is our last season together, and I want him to go out on top!

Trevor and I choreographed our duo together. We put the piece on stage as an exhibition dance at Jackie Sleight’s LA Dance Magic. We were not scored at LADM, but were able to get the judges notes and make changes to the dance. As a result of great feedback and hard work, our duo was the highest scoring dance of the weekend at Hollywood Connection. Sharing that moment with Trevor was special. It is a celebration of 8 years dancing together. Our duo piece will live in my memory forever, and I am excited to tour with it this year.

Whenever I write something like this, it makes me think about how much so many people have supported me as a dancer, my parents, DPAC, countless teachers, mentors, choreographers, Capezio, my manager Nelson Diaz, and my agents at MSA and BBR. Love you all so much – and thank you again Hollywood Connection for a great weekend in Burbank.

Summer 2- Hollywood Vibe DOTY and Team Larkles

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If you missed the first posts in this series, go back to the beginning.

Summer 1 – LA Sparks and Trip To New York

If you read my blog regularly, I won Regional Dancer of the Year for Hollywood Vibe. It is a huge honor to be selected by the Hollywood Vibe faculty as the top dancer of the weekend, but moreover it qualified me to compete for the National Dancer of the Year during Hollywood Vibe’s Nationals Competition.

Hollywood Vibe held their week-long Nationals in LA and the talent and competition was fierce. It was not really a drama, but emotions ran high. I loved dancing with so many friends from around the Nation, like one of my besties, Leah Roga from Phoenix.  Just for fun, our parents had #teamlarkles#TeamLarkles shirts made for us since we plan to spend many weeks together, and #TeamLarkles was born!  I tried to work as hard as I could so that I could dance well and show the teachers at the convention that I was deserving of the title National Dancer of the Year. I woke up my mom at 5:30 each morning to help me get ready so I could be there way before our call time 7:00 am. Liz Imperio, creative director of Hollywood Vibe taught me a lesson that I try to live by. She said that if your call time is 7:00 then 6:45 is “on time”.  If you want to be early you need to be there at 6:30 am.  I do my best to follow this rule whenever I am headed to a rehearsal or audition.

At the end of the week, they called up the top 5 dancers to the stage.  Then they announced the top 2 dancers in my Intermediate category to do a dance off. I made the top 2 list and it was very nerve racking, but exciting at the same time.  The next morning the two of us got to dance for all of the judges at the event and a large audience.  They didn’t tell us who won the award until the awards show that evening.

At the end of the night, I was the last dancer standing and was awarded the Hollywood Vibe National Dancer of the Year! There were so many dancers deserving of the title that it was a shock to win!

This year I am planning to go to as many Hollywood Vibe conventions as possible. It is a great honor to represent them. #TeamLarkles almost doubled up. Leah Roga was a finalist in Teens and won top solo overall. Her competition was REALLY competitive.  The Teen Dancer of the Year went to one of my immaBEAST teammates – Trinity Inay. She is a super sweet girl and a great dancer.  We got to know each other earlier this year when we  worked together on Dancing With The Stars (see video https://youtu.be/xQkAPpxDQB0?list=PLYVO53t5xTKUnxykgAK8wq_Qz88ujzrH6

).

Hollywood Vibe is my second National Championship as a dancer. The first came three years ago at Hollywood Connection; they call their national prize ICON of the Year. Here’s a little known fact for you.  Hailee Paine, one of the top 4 finalists on So You Think You Can Dance also won the Senior title of Icon of the Year at the same competition.  I absolutely love her!  She’s an amazing dancer and one of the nicest people in the world!  I was sad that she did not win SYTYCD, but getting to the final two for Team Stage is a huge accomplishment. She really shined as a versatile dancer, often outperforming many of the Team Street dancers in Hip Hop pieces. Amazing, right?  I’m so excited to see where her career is going to go from here!

Pulse Las VegasAfter Hollywood Vibe the #TeamLarkles tour continued at The Pulse on Tour in Las Vegas. We literally left the awards at HV Nationals and drove ALL through the night to get to Vegas. The Stutts family followed with us (shout out to Hannah and Pate). We did not get to perform in the showcase because we missed Friday, but the rest of the weekend was amazing – lots of friends and great training. A bunch of my friends including Leah became Pulse Protégé, which is a huge honor, but not me. Maybe I will win next time. You just never know. I really appreciate winning scholarships that have allowed us to continue going to Pulse in the future. The faculty, staff, and dancers go full out. It is a great place to learn and train. I am always exhausted when I leave. FYI, Bally’s Las Vegas is a dumpy hotel ☹

Be sure to check out the first post in this series

Summer 1 – LA Sparks and Trip To New York

Subscribe to see the next post –  Summer 3 – Leaving Las Vegas

LADM Michael Dameski and Sparkles Lund

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Taylor Costa, Juliana Keller, and MeLast weekend, I traveled to L.A. once again for LADM, or LA Dance Magic for those who have never heard of it. I went with some people from my studio who also won scholarships last year, and I also saw a lot of my friends from other conventions. I performed my musical theatre solo, Diamonds – but it was for exhibition only. Juliana Juju Keller, Taylor Costa, and I also performed our trio and were awarded a platinum. The judges give us great critiques of things we need to work on.

As always – @austindoodle on instagram stole the show. I think every person there took a turn at petting him!

Jackie Sleight with my mom and dadLADM is ran by Jackie Sleight, who choreographed the Otis Parson’s School of Design fashion show that I participated in last year, and will be participating in again this year. I loved the experience, and can’t wait to do it again! If you want to look at the story I wrote last year about it, here is the link https://sparkleslund.com/?p=333. Anyways, back to LADM.

The faculty includes amazing choreographers like DJ Guthrie, Christian Vincent, Albert Cattafi, Eddie Moody, Will Thomas, and Ayodele Casel. This LADM was especially amazing because Michael Dameski, winner of So You Think You Can Dance: Australia, was guest teaching with Will Thomas. Will was also on So You Think You Can Dance, so together, they taught a class called, “We Know You Can Dance” which I thought was pretty clever. I met Michael last summer at Dancer Palooza during Mandy Moore’s class and was amazed my his phenomenal dancing. Hence, I was so excited to find out I was going to get to take class from him instead of with him. He additionally performed a solo at the closing show that blew my mind.

The scholarship audition was on Sunday morning. I felt good about my performance, and apparently, the judges did too! I ended up winning a scholarship! Looking forward to attending a lot of LADMs next year.

Here is a video of Michael Dameski – I am a fan, for sure!

Try Try Again

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firstplace hollywood connectionWhen I was in 5th grade, I had a PE teacher who shall not be named. From 1st grade to 6th grade, my school did the Presidential Fitness test, and I always go the highest award. Dance strengthens your whole body which helped me accomplish this level of fitness. Funny story: one time I forgot my running shoes, so I ran the mile in my Uggs, and still managed to set the school record.

Have you ever had a teacher that just doesn’t understand you? I had one of those in 5th grade. If you know me, you understand that I’m a year ahead in school, and that I’m fun sized. Translation: short. I try to make up for my vertical struggles with a strong dose of what my grandma calls tenacity. As you can imagine, my physique is not well suited for volleyball. I tried my hardest, but I did not have enough strength to serve the volleyball over the net. Because of that, I got the only B+ in my entire life. Not to worry, I made up for it and finished the year with an A.

Although, I’ll never forgive that teacher for the way he treated me. I wonder if he treats handicapped people the same way? Clearly I am not handicapped in the traditional way, but certain sports that require certain physical attributes like height handicap me. I guess that I though that the teacher would take that into consideration. Oh well. Try, try again.

This year, I’ve been doing great in PE, but was really stressed out about the volleyball unit based upon my earlier experience. I dedicated myself to working as hard as I possibly could. I still cannot muster the strength to serve the ball over the net, but I made up for it in other ways and kept and A+ in the class.

I am most proud of this part. Our teacher gives an award called PE’s Best every unit. The award recognizes kids that are working really hard in PE. This year, I’m very proud to say that I was given that award during the volleyball unit! Now I get a new t-shirt to wear in PE. Yay! The moral of the story is if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And, expect that from time to time, you will be judged unfairly. Just accept it , and move on.

This weekend, our DPAC dance team competed at Hollywood Connection. We did really well, but there were a few dances that did not score has high as I would have expected. I love my DPAC team, and I am sure that everyone will be dedicated to working hard to reach our potential. The important part is that we shake off the under-scored dances. There is always room for improvement.

I did muster a 1st Place Platinum in my solo, Diamonds – choreographed by Jill Clark. We had a bunch of first place scores in groups. Mama – our lyrical choreographed by Mrs. Tahirih Ellison. Shout out to Trevor Quesada who scored Titanium in his solo and the boys small group hip-hop that also scored Titanium. We can do this!

It was great to see my Hollywood Connection family again. The faculty is absolutely amazing. They gave me my break as a professional dancer and I will always be grateful for their continued support. I had to leave for a Meghan Trainor audition on Saturday morning and missed a few classes. They were really accommodating, #blessed.

Dance Craziness Pt. 1

By | Auditions, Competition, Convention, Dance, Friends | One Comment
Hollywood Vibe

Hollywood Vibe

I’m so sorry I haven’t written in a while, I’ve just been really busy with all of the events that I have been participating in for the past few weeks. There’s so many of things going on that I’ve decided to break this into two or maybe even three posts! I am just going with the flow depending on how much of this I get done today. The things I’ll be talking about in these two or three posts are Hollywood Vibe Nationals, The Pulse Las Vegas, #lilBEASTS video, and Macy’s Glamorama. That’s a lot right? I guess I’ll start with Hollywood Vibe Nationals, so that I go in time order.

This crazy week all started on Thursday, June 26, with my first scholarship dance rehearsal. We learned this dance over a video sent to us in an email. Unfortunately, my video wouldn’t play, so it was very stressful for me once I got to rehearsal. I had to learn every single piece of the choreography on the spot that day.

The next day was our first day of classes, taught by Hollywood Vibe’s superstar faculty. We learned all styles in these classes for four days. Also, during those three days I had competition. After the first day of classes, I performed my trio entitled Whipped Into Shape and my solo, Bees Knees, which was competing for Dancer of the Year. After the second day of classes, I had all of my small groups with the rest of the juniors. We were lucky enough to win 1st Place in the lyrical category and Best Costume with our gorgeous lyrical dance, Tears of an Angel. After the third day of classes, I had both of my large groups, Feels Good and MJ Tribute. Both got Platinum but didn’t place. After the fourth day of classes, it was finally time to for the Final Night Gala. This was where the National Dancer of the Year for each age group was announced and I got to perform the scholarship dance and the Dancer of the Year finalist piece that we had been working on for the past week choreographed by Liz Imperio. Both of the dances felt great and then it was time to announce Dancer of the Year, and Vibe Company, which means you get to assist the teachers and perform with the faculty. They started with Vibe Company, and I got it! So did my good friends Juju, Trevor, Tyler W., and Jordan. We were all super excited but we were eager to find out who won Dancer of the Year. They started announcing the juniors, it was no one I knew. Then they moved on to intermediate. Unfortunately, I did not win but that’s okay I’ll just keep trying and maybe I’ll get it next year! They moved onto the teens I did not know the female winner, but Trevor won for male! Everyone was so excited that they didn’t even pay attention to anything that happened after that.

I had a bunch of fun at Hollywood Vibe and can’t wait for next year!

In the middle of Hollywood Vibe, I had to drive to Los Angeles for #lilBEASTS rehearsal. Which leads to the next post…….The Pulse Las Vegas and #lilBEASTS Showcase Performance.

Here is Part 2 of the series https://sparkleslund.com/2014/07/28/dance-craziness-pt-2/

#lilbeast AUDITION 2014

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Two Sunday’s ago, I auditioned for the popular hip-hop crew owned by Willdabeast, lilBEAST. There is also another crew for ages 14 and over owned by the same person called immaBEAST. For those of you who don’t know what a hip-hop crew is, it is a type of dance team that specializes in hip-hop. These dance teams called crews perform at many events including World of Dance and Carnival, two very big dance shows. Today, I will be telling you all about my experience auditioning for lilBEAST.

At 1:00 on June 1st, I went to LA to audition for lilBEAST. The line was wrapped around the whole building so I was very worried that it was going to be very hard to be noticed, but once we got inside of the room it wasn’t too bad. We started learning the choreography and I understood it right away. I was pretty proud of myself because usually it takes me a while to pick up the choreography. After we learned a lot, we split up into groups and the judges chose who they wanted to move onto the next round. I, luckily, was one of those people! I was so excited!

After that round, I had to wait a while because they had the boys go first, and then I went. I killed the choreography, meaning I didn’t forget any of it and I went super full out. To make things even better, I made it through that round too! After that part, a bunch got to freestyle if they wanted too, and that was very fun because of all the different styles that people did. This was pretty much the end of the audition, except that we did the combination a few more times but it wasn’t judged.

Once it was really over, my mom and I thought we should thank Willdabeast for inviting me to audition and being so kind to me, so we did. We had a nice long chat and then he quietly told me that I made it but it’s still a secret. After that, I thought I was going to pass out I was so excited! At that moment, I knew that I have officially “made it” in the dance industry.

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Hollywood Vibe Feels Good

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In The Pocket

In any sport or activity, you hear people talk about being in the zone. When music and rhythm is involved: dancers, singers, or musicians are in the pocket rather than in the zone. Being in the pocket means staying on your rhythm and…. I’m sorry, it just doesn’t make sense if you have not had that feeling for yourself. Last weekend, at Hollywood Vibe Dance Convention I stayed in that pocket for the whole weekend.

During the Fall, you audition for your group dances. In a month’s time, normally, you will get a packet in the mail that says what dances you were placed in and if a solo is recommended or not. About a week after that, you learn your group dances. I think that is the funnest part of the process because the choreography is fresh in our minds and exciting because it’s new. Here is a list of the groups I am in.

In the beginning of Winter, we have our first regional competition. That is the studio’s chance to test our dances and see how they are judged. From these results and judges’ notes, we can make changes to our dances. This year, our first competition was LA Dance Magic (LADM for short). All of our dances got Platinum, the highest award you can get, but there was still room for improvement, because you can always become better. On a personal level, I won the Magic Performer award which means I was the top Junior dancer of that regional competition. All of our dances qualified for their national finals and I qualified to compete for Magic Performer of the Year.

After LADM, we came back to the studio to work on improving our dances. This was in preparation for Hollywood Vibe regionals. After months of hard work, we showed up at Hollywood Vibe with all of our dances in great shape. It was a special weekend for all of us. It was especially fun because we had our mini and junior rookie teams at the competition and they did fabulous! All of our dances were solid, highlighted by my junior lyrical piece, Tears of an Angel, choreographed by Keara Blake. It won 1st place Platinum as well as overall high score and it was awarded the Outstanding Choreography award. Go Ms. Keara! It was exciting to see the entire studio do so well, it felt like we won everything! I was honored with the Regional Dancer of the Year Award and I was very thankful because I worked very hard to achieve it. If you do not know dance, here is a reference – The current Junior Hollywood Vibe Dancer of the Year is Brooke Kosinski – principle dancer at Abby Lee Dance Company and one of the stars of the show Dance Moms.

Much in the same way that a dancer has to stay in the pocket to perform well, the team has to stay in the pocket for the entire year. That means lots of hard work in the studio, but it also means showing up at competition ready to dance. So far, our season has been great. We have a few more months of work to do in the studio to prepare for nationals. If we practice real hard, it will be more likely that we succeed.

I would just like to say thank you to all of my teachers, choreographers, my parents, the rest of my family, and of course, my wittle puppy dog, Austin.

SOL Dance Convention

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Last weekend, I went to SOL Dance Convention. It was very fun and very easy to get to because it was in Santa Maria which locals know is roughly 25 minutes away from where I live! The studio had a great weekend and I will tell you all about it below!

It all started on Friday, the 21st. Unlike most convention/competitions, all of the competition dances(that means solos, duo/trios, and group dances) were on the same day! And on top of that, the awards weren’t until 6:00 p. m. on Sunday! My first dance was my solo, Krazy n’ a Box. After that, it was my trio, and then all of my group dances which I don’t remember the order of. That night my best friend Camille a.k.a Mocha slept over at my house. We planned out our outfits for the next day as well as what we were going to do with our hair and what accessories we were going to put in it. On Saturday morning, we got up, showered, got dressed, ate breakfast, and then left for our first day of convention classes. Unfortunately, on our way there, the GPS on my dad’s phone wasn’t working so we got there a little bit late. My dad was extremely angry with Siri.

Our first class of the day was Bollywood with Jesus (pronounced hay seuss). For those who don’t know what that is, it is a dance style that originated from the movie Bollywood which was filmed in Mumbai, India. Our second class was Salsa with Jonathan, it was fun to have this because it is not a common convention class. After that was one of my favorite classes, Music Video. It was the kind of dance that you would usually see in a music video, so, it is not that hard but extremely fun! Those were all of our classes for the first day which was really unusual because at most convention/competitions there is an average of 6 classes per day.

On Sunday we started a little bit earlier than Saturday, but I’m not sure why. We had the same classes but instead of Music Video as our last class we had Character with Suzy. For those who know what musical theatre is, it’s like that. It is a dance that tells a story and the song is normally from a Broadway musical. The dance we did with her was from the musical West Side Story. After that class, we learned our audition dance. I liked most of the dance and the song, although the dance could have been a little less weird. There was a lot of strange hand movements and some weird floor work. We rolled around on the ground for most of the dance. Now that I think about it, I really only liked the song. We had roughly 20 minutes to practice the dance and then we started auditioning. I was in the first group, but I wasn’t my choice they just picked random people. We did the dance once, then switched lines and did it again. I didn’t feel very good about it because the judges were only watching one girl and it was not myself.

About an hour after that, it was time for the awards. They started with announcing the awards for the competition on Friday. All of the dances I was in got first place except for my solo. I was really proud of my team members but I was a little bit upset that my solo didn’t place. I got over it quickly though. Then it was time for the scholarships, they started with partial scholarships, then went on to full scholarships and finally they announced the STAR Performer of the Weekend, it was awarded to one of my dear friends, Carina Avila! I was so proud of her, and surprisingly didn’t feel bad at all! I felt great about the whole weekend and was also tired as heck by the end of it. Although, whenever I feel that way I know that I kicked some serious booty.

Hollywood Connection

Hollywood Connection 2014

By | Competition, Convention, Dance, Friends | One Comment

The night before going to Hollywood Connection I was very nervous and I had a hard time getting to sleep. In 2012 I was selected as their Icon Dancer of the Year and I assisted the teachers at a number of conventions last year. Hollywood Connection was my first competition in 2011, the first time I did a solo in 2012, and so many other firsts for me as a dancer. Bill Bohl also gave me my start as a professional dancer by representing me through Movement Talent Agency. Moreover, the teachers at Hollywood Connection have helped me grow as a dancer – Brooklyn Jai, Chonique Sneed, Jason Kalish, Lindsley Allen, Mitchel Federan, Robert Schultz, and Bonnie Story. I love them all and I feel so much support from them. They teach a lot more than dance.

This year I moved up in age groups to Guest Stars – Teens age 11 to 13. It is like starting all over again. In Irvine, CA you compete against many of the best dancers in the Los Angles area from the top studios and there are lots of professional dancers. INTIMIDATING! The 13 year olds are so good.

DPAC decided only to bring solos to this competition and convention. I have three solos this year – Jazz, Hip Hop, and Contemporary. I decided to perform Krazy n’ a Box, my Hip Hop solo choreographed by Brooklyn Jai, and Cosmic Love choreographed by Mitchel Federan. This is the first time they have seen me compete with their solos. I did my best. I am so thrilled to have scored Platinum for both dances and second overall in each category. Out of the 103 acts, there were about 10 platinums (DPAC got 4) and my friend Danielle Esposito got the only Titanium. Her choreographer is Jill Clark who also choreographed my jazz dance, Bees Knees (think Gatsby). At the wrap party, I was awarded Icon runner up for the event and qualified to compete for Icon of the Year – which is their version of National Champion for the 11 to 13 year old age group. I also was invited to participate in a music video directed by Bonnie Story( High School Musical). I was featured in last year’s video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_YDm_TpoW4

I am super happy for all of the DPAC dancers. We all faced super tough competition but we took the top dancer award in Open and Contemporary for my age group. That was pretty exciting. So happy for Allie Gilson who crushed the Open category and Trevor Quezada who won contemporary.

Last night I performed in a show with Jay Pugh of RUN DMC at the Celebrity Centre on the Church of Scientology campus in LA. They asked me to perform Krazy n’ a Box and a group piece called Tears of an Angel. DPAC brought the house down! It was fun.

So sad that my Grandma Stella and Aunt Shelia (yes, its spelled that way) had to go back home today. I miss them already. Looking forward to Pulse next weekend in Santa Clara! I am entering two solos into the preliminary showcase hoping to get selected to the Showcase. Wish me luck!

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LADM Was a Success

By | Competition, Convention, Dance, Friends, Travel | 3 Comments

As some of you may know, last weekend I went to DPAC’s first competition of the year, LADM! Our whole studio had so much fun and everyone did amazing! Speaking of amazing, how about I tell you the awards that the Junior Company and I received this weekend.

Numb(small group) – 1st Place Platinum

Proud Mary(small group) – 2nd Place Platinum

Tears of an Angel(small group) – 1st Place Platinum and 1st Overall High Score

Rags or Riches(small group) –  1st Place Platinum

Whipped Into Shape(trio) – 1st Place Platinum

Feels Good(production) – 2nd Place Platinum

Krazi n’ a Box(solo) – 2nd Place Platinum

Bee’s Knees(solo) – 1st Place Platinum

It was really exciting to get all of these awards, but my favorite part of it was the rush that it gave me. It’s like that for me at every convention/competition. In my opinion, it’s not about the award itself, its about how you earned the award, and how hard you worked to achieve the goal.

Another thing that at LADM is we were competing against another local studio that we have had a rivalry with for years. We tried to keep things friendly, and it stayed like that for the most part but there were still some people who shook things up a little. Ummm, that’s all I’m gonna say about that. Thanks for reading!!! <3images

Sam Waterman to get Life Saver Award

By | Friends | No Comments

Saving someone’s life is a pretty big deal, and my friend Sam Waterman did that last year.

Sam Waterman has been in my class at school until this year. He goes to a different school now. We used to carpool to school all the time.

Last year he saved a elderly woman’s life in his neighborhood. He was doing his job as a dog walker when he heard the old woman yelling for help. Sam went into the lady’s house and found her on the floor. She had fallen and could not get up. I heard that she was stuck on the floor for more than a day before Sam came along. If he hadn’t found her it could have been fatal. Can you imagine lying there for a day with no food or water?

Sam’s grandmother, Ariel let us know about Sam getting the award. They are having a ceremony this Thursday, September 26th at 9 a.m. The ceremony is going to be at the Honor Farm Building, 880 Kansas Street, San Luis Obispo. I don’t know if I can go or not because of school, but I sure hope that I can.

Sam Waterman in our School Play Last Year. He is wearing the hat.

Sam Waterman in our School Play Last Year. He is wearing the green coat and brown hat

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Miley Killed My Idol Hannah Montana

By | Uncategorized | 16 Comments

I am still a little girl, but when I was a really little girl, Hannah Montana was my idol. I watched every show, learned every song. I guess that I was like just about every other little girl in 2008.

As a 10 year old professional dancer, the MTV Video Music Awards are what my friend Larsen Thompson called the “Super Bowl of dancing”. I know a few of the choreographers and professional dancers that work their tails off to be apart of the show. During the VMA awards, I looked forward to the performance from Miley Cyrus (a.k.a. Hannah Montana). My girlhood idol Miley Cyrus did a hashtag fail with her performance. It was hashtag bad entertainment, hashtag inappropriate, and hashtag disappointing. Disney’s Hannah Montana is dead now, clearly put in a casket by Miley Cyrus.

I can only imagine how difficult it is to be famous when you are a little girl. Disney may have simply done a great job of masking the real Miley Cyrus from the amazing Hannah Montana.

I work really hard as a dancer, and I try my hardest on every audition to book jobs. However, I am glad that I am surrounded by all of my friends and family that tell me to stay sweet and humble. I can’t imagine how Miley’s parents, manager, agent, choreographer, publicist, director, and others all saw that act and somehow thought that it would be o.k. The entertainment industry is a crazy place where people try radical things, but someone should have said NO!

Here is a video of me at age 4, in 2008 singing “The Best of Both Worlds.”

 

Class Integrity Award Goes to Alexandra Lund

By | School | No Comments

I just love my teacher – she awarded me the Integrity Award. I try to always be sincere and honest. The other kids in my class are like that too. Not sure how or why she singled me out for this award, but I am grateful. It is a nice thing to be recognized for.

Congratulations to Alexandra Lund for receiving the character award for Integrity. Alexandra always pays careful attention to the rules and expectations of the environment around her. Paired with this honorable ability to constantly abide to expectations, is her consistency in doing the right thing in any given situation. If Alexandra isn’t sure of what the rules are, instead of risking wrongdoing, she will clarify with a authority figure before acting without knowing her expectations. Having the knowledge of her good character is why Alexandra does right. Alexandra knows that doing the right thing is an honorable character trait to possess, even when no one is looking. Alexandra does what’s right, not to receive anything in return, except her own rightful character, and the pride that comes with knowing that she has a character with integrity.

– Ms. Lauren Kipps

By the way – my teacher is a model. She is super sweet and beautiful – Here are her head shots. Lauren Ashley Kipps

Third Place Is Still Winning

By | Dance | No Comments

I spent last weekend in Burbank, CA attending the iHollywood Dance competition and convention. Obviously when you go to compete, you always want to do your best. What you learn as an athlete in an individual sport is that you can only do your best, and you will not win every time. Think about the worlds best race car drivers, golfers, gymnasts, and tennis players. Even at the highest level in their sport, it is hard to be the best every time.

We went to LA thinking about Mr. D, who was in an awful car accident. He broke his neck and they were doing emergency surgery to save his life. We had no idea what was going to happen. Just before we started competing, we learned that he was fine and the doctors were successful. Our prayers were answered.

With lifted spirits, I hit the stage for Sparkly Money, then half way through – the music stopped and the lights went out. I did my best to stay in character. After I got off stage, they put me back on, and I had to wait more than a minute before my music started….. very stressful. I did my best once again, and the music and lights went out once again. I received the “Girl on Fire” award and came in first in the category for my age group.

Watcha Need was great. The number placed first in the Jazz category. The score was good enough to place Third Overall for the competition. Here is a video that I put together to share the story of Hollywood Connection in Santa Clara, and iHollywood Dance in Burbank. Hope you enjoy it. Share with friends.

Hollywood Connection Icon of the Year

By | Dance | One Comment

Hollywood ConnectionA few weeks ago at Hollywood Connection Nationals I won……. ICON OF THE YEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hollywood Connection gives out the award based on classes, sportsmanship, passion and your solo. I wasn’t sure but, when Robert Schultz gave me the rainbow afro in the ICON group dance, I thought it was a hint that I was at least getting close to being the winner.

It felt so good when we were at the HC (Hollywood Connection) banquet when they were announcing the winners of ICON and they called my name. Not to mention it really inspired me when I was taking pictures with all the teachers from HC such as; Brandon HenschelChonique SneedBrooklyn JaiBrooke LiptonLisette BustamanteJason KalishKatie MillerLindsley Allen, last but not least the owners Bill Bohl and Kimberly Lyon.

It was a great experience to win ICON OF THE YEAR… I hope I will do as well next year…
Thank you for reading my blog. ~Sparkles.