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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 – 

 

Choreographers Alliance

Performing Artists Need to Leverage their Collective Voices to Support H.R. 3121 the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act

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Did you know that California Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA27) and Floridia Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL16) have authored a bill that will allow performing artists to deduct money spent on union dues, travel to auditions, headshots, agency fees, training classes, management fees and other miscellaneous expenses from our taxable income? There has been a law since 1986 (called the QPA – Qualified Performing Artist tax deduction) that gave these deductions to performers up to an income limit of $16,000. Before this year, I was able to reclaim nearly all of the State and Federal Income Tax I paid during the year.

Sadly, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that went into effect in 2018 eliminated the ability to claim miscellaneous itemized deductions like our work expenses. As a result, performing artists (including me) we unable to reclaim hundreds or thousands of dollars of income tax deducted from our jobs. The Tax Cut and Jobs Act raised my taxes and the taxes of all Performing Artists. I was shocked when I paid my takes this year and received such a small State and Federal Income Tax return. That is the money I use to pay for travel to Hollywood Vibe Nationals, Buildabeast, and other summer intensives. This new law being proposed by Rep. Chu will correct the problem by updating the thresholds of the deduction allowing more low and middle-income artists to utilize it.

Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you,” says Tony Robbins.

You never know the types of isolated events in your life that shape you, but three things have happened for me in the past year that have made me pay attention to something important for performing artists. I am sharing these experiences in hopes of awakening a spirt of positive change for dancers. If we work together, we can make a difference.

  • This winter, I worked with my father to address the school district, state education board , and federal lawmakers (aka politicians) to fight for my right to attend public school and work as a dancer. We were successful at getting my absences for work excused.
  • I am volunteering with the Choreographers Alliance to help them with marketing the mission to receive appropriate compensation and protection for their work. This will take time, but with your support Choreographers can get credit and residuals for their work in Advertising, Television and Film.
  • I attended Girls State, a weeklong camp where students from across the State of California operated an emulation of our State Government. We learned how government works and how to start movements for positive change in our Nation.

The take away from all of this is that we – you and me – need to use our voices to fight for positive change. If a dozen or more instafamous performing artists took action to support this legislation to fix the tax bill, or gave shout outs to the Choreographers Alliance – change would happen. Use your social media following to change the world, not just to promote yourself.

What I Learned

Create Coalitions. One person may be able to have some influence, but many people together in a coalition creates a community voice. Put a hashtag or a link in your bio on social media and post from time to time about positive social change.

Can you imagine the impact if performing artists across the dance industry started supporting the @choreo_alliance on Instagram? It does not matter if you are a choreographer in SAG today – we know these choreographers, and need to show our love for them. They are building and maintaining bridges to opportunities that you may cross in your future. If SAG sees tens of thousands or millions of supporters for the Choreographers Alliance, they will act.

Step up and follow the @choreo_alliance and support them. At the very least, you will be supporting an effort to change an injustice for people you love. Who knows, you may also be laying a foundation to see your future work on a film or television listed in the credits, and receive residual payments for your art. Dancers get this level of credit today, but choreographers do not.

Legislators have open doors. My father was able to attend public meetings and set meetings legislators at every level. You simply walk into a council meeting and find out when the public comment period is – normally it is at the beginning of the meeting. You have 3 minutes to speak out. But more importantly, it’s an opportunity to see and be seen. After my father’s talks on the issues related to Artists in public schools and the disparity of treatment from Athletes, legislators wanted to meet with him to discuss remedies that were underway and receive feedback. Change can happen if you show up.

Did you know that Rep Judy Chu only has 4710 followers on Instagram. Her district is north and east of Burbank, CA, so as you can imagine, lots of performing artists live there. These are communities that are more affordable for dancers, yet still not too far of a commute for auditions or class. She has not posted about this law yet – don’t you think that she will work harder if a few thousand people follow her, DM her, and support her?

If we support Rep. Judy Chu with this law, these deductions will be returned for performing artists allowing deductions for those earning up to $100,000 in income. Even those making over $100,000 would be allowed to deduct the first $30,000 in expenses from their income. The suggested law is only one page – go read it! https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/116/hr3121/text That will make a difference of hundreds or thousands of dollars to help you pay rent, eat, and train between jobs.

What You can Do Right Now to Make A Difference

Choreographers AllianceIf you want to be a professional at anything, you need to recognize that you are part of an industry and participate in industry related groups like the Choreographers Alliance. Moreover, you need to be aware of the laws that pertain to our industry and take action to support legislation that is designed to help you! This is what Breaking Barriers taught by Liz Imperio is all about. What would it hurt? Do you think that you will lose followers if you ask them to help you fight for your fair rights as a performer?

Post your support for the Performing Artist Tax Parity Act with #PerformingArtistTaxParityAct

Follow @choreo_alliance – like and repost when you can.

Follow Rep. Judy Chu – message her your support and give her legislation a shout out (you can post the link to this if you want).

Buildabeast Re-Cap 2017

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Buildabeast was a huge success this year! For those who are new here, Buildabeast is an animal convention……lol…..annual convention put on by the owners and co-founders of ImmaBeast: Willdabeast Adams and Janelle Ginestra, aka: Mama and Papa Beast. I have been training under this newly engaged couple for going-on 4 years and I have learned so much. They ask us to bring improvement to every class. One thing for sure, they brought enormous improvement. Will and Janelle have probably improved more in the past year than any dancer or choreographer that I know. It’s a blessing to witness and completely inspiring to work with immaBeast.

With that being said, let’s get into the recap.

with Mallory Jul

Our whole team began rehearsals weeks ago, to ensure a phenomenal show. On the Friday before the event started, our crew arrived at the venue in Pomona to block the show and smooth out traditions. We rehearsed from Friday until Monday, and then on Tuesday, the event that we had all been looking forward to finally began! The first class was taught by Laura Edwards, followed by Noelle Marsh, etc.  That night, we had show rehearsal once again.

The next day, class, etc. After a long day of classes, we had rehearsal for a very special concert that I will get to later…. The next day, same schedule, except now it is the night of the concert for none other than Jordan Fisher! I met Jordan the first time I auditioned for immaBEAST back in 2014, and we’ve kept in touch ever since. He is killing the music game right now so make sure you check him out. The next day, we had a super early rehearsal before class even started and after that rehearsal I took a real good nap. I mean a girl’s gotta rest right? After my “recharge” I assisted Allison Holker which was so life changing! We ended the day with the spectacular Sean Lew’s class. Then it was finally the night of our much-anticipated immaBeast showcase!

Our show opened with the world renowned Chapkis Dance Company. Their set was absolutely insane and set the bar very high for the rest of us. Seeing their greatness just motivated the rest of us to dance our best, which we sure did! The show went great and we finished off the night with a fun after party DJ’d by the one and only DJ Marv.

The final day consisted of the heart and soul of Buildabeast: AUDITIONS FOR 2018 IMMABEAST! We had to audition Will’s combo from earlier in the week so everyone had a chance to practice before-hand, but the extra time also raised the standard because everyone rehearsed the combo to perfection. The audition was stressful, but overall a great experience. The last part of the day were the immaBeast awards, where I received “On the Rise” which means I show “constant improvement and really on the way to greatness” – once I got a “Girl On Fire” award – feels the same.

with Jordan Fisher

This week was so very inspiring and I can’t wait for next year. – To see the faculty members – click to check out this post

Next Up……..

DPAC has their annual summer show at the Clark Center called Eat, Sleep, Dance, Repeat. That is a must see event for locals! Tickets at the door – 6 PM Curtain Up.

I am looking forward to working with #teamcapezio at DancerPalooza! Watch @capezio on instagram for the live streaming all weekend during Beat Street. I will be interviewing Tate McRae, Melinda Sullivan, Emma HellenKamp, Kalani Hilliker, and photographer Jordan Matter. You will also be able to watch behind the scenes of my photoshoot with Jordan! Of course, I will also be doing spot interviews with my other favorite dancers and choreographers – some special guests guaranteed!

 

Simrin Player Sets Example For Dancers

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One of the great things about being a dancer is, quite frankly, other dancers. From the very beginning, my love of dance has been fueled by the relationships that I have because of dance. I would not have ever become a two time DOTY unless by best friend Camille asked me to switch from my ballet studio to DPAC. I wanted to be with my friend as much as I wanted to dance.

This is still true today. I love dancing at my local studios – DPAC and SLO Movement Arts. The teachers and the other dancers make it a joy to dance. The same is true when we have immaBEAST rehearsals in Los Angeles on Monday nights. They are like family reunions where we all know each other and support each other.

If you know anything about the top dancers in America today, you definitely know of my immaBEAST teammate Simrin Player. (http://www.simrinplayer.com/) She has done a million amazing things as a professional and competition dancer – you can see her bio here http://www.simrinplayer.com/bio.html. If you were alive during the Justin Bieber release of his Purpose album, you saw Simrin as the lead in that piece. She crushed it.

Simrin Needs our Help! As dancers we are citizens. We need to get involved in our community and help contribute to those in need. Our art and our celebrity gives us a voice to do good.

She writes on Facebook – “This year I have been researching the water injustices on the Navajo Nation. Approximately 69,200 Navajo are forced to haul their water due to a lack of water facilities. I have created a GoFundMe account where all of the profits will go to a nonprofit organization (The Navajo Water Project) dedicated to improving the percentage of homes with running water and electricity. I would greatly appreciate any donations.”

Please Visit This Go Fund Me page! Support Simrin as she does her part to give back to the community.

https://www.gofundme.com/water-for-the-navajo-nation

For being awesome – I here by give Simrin the Girl On Fire Award!

buildaBEAST by immaBEAST Workshop Announced

By | Dance, Friends | 4 Comments

BuildaIf you follow me on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, or Facebook (links at the top of the page)  you probably already know that I am blessed to be on a team called immaBEAST. Well, specifically the “imma”s are the older kids and young adults. Part of the immaBEAST team are the lilBEASTS (15 and under), and that’s me. The good news is that there will be a workshop that starts July 28th. On the final day, August 1st, everyone gets to audition for a spot on the immaBEAST team! You can get discounted tickets for the buildaBEAST workshop and immaBEAST auditon now if you buy them before they sell out! $400 earlybird special http://www.immabeast.co/buildabeast

Over the past year, training with the immaBEAST team has been really fun and amazingly rewarding. I have had the opportunity to train on a team that is 100% professional dancers. Everyone is freakishly talented.

My #lilBEAST Story

In 2013-14 I took some classes with Will WilldaBEAST Adams at Millennium, The Pulse, and 24-7 Dance. He called me out to do a duet at 24-7 which my dad recorded. It is really poor quality video (https://youtu.be/11b11nbtd88) but you can see that I was super inspired by the choreography. At the time, I felt really confident with my skills in Jazz and Musical Theater, but understood that I needed a lot more work on other styles including Hip-Hop. There is something about WilldaBEAST’s style of sharp footwork and hard hits blended with moments of smooth swag that I truly love. Anyways, after the class he told me about the audition to try out for his team. I was so excited that I almost peed my pants.

The Audition

I had been a professional dancer for a couple of years before the WilldaBEAST audition. I was used to going to big auditions with hundreds of people and young superstars. Don’t get me wrong. When I show up to these things and see dancers like Leah Roga, Boogie Tinay, Sophia Jahadhmy, Kaycee Rice, Jordyn Jones, Larsen Thompson, Soni Bringas, and so on, I know that I gotta bring it! But the WilldaBEAST audition was a whole new level. The talent level was so deep that even a great dancer could easily drown. WilldaBEAST says that 2400 people auditioned! Here is a video that recaps last year’s audtion https://youtu.be/z1dwkFL0EbY

Season 2 immaBEAST teamOn June 11th, WilldaBEAST announced the #lilBEAST team. Kaycee Rice, Lexee Smith, Gabe Deguzman, Larsen Thompson, Jaron Snyder, Josh Price, Taylor Hatala, Nike Tracreee, Tessa Brooks, Sophie Reynoldson, Phoenix “lil mini,” Kennadi Boese, Leah Roga, Kaylyn Selvin, Sean Lew, Kade Pait, Jordyn Jones, Big Will Simmons, Soni Bringas, Sophia Jahadhmy, Zealand Yancy, Boogie Tinay, Sierra Neudeck, Tati McQuay, Talin Silva and….. Sparkles Lund! Here is my blog post about it. https://sparkleslund.com/?p=353

The Journey – We do this just because we can!

  • July 2014 – lilBEASTS perform at The Pulse in Las Vegas for the closing show – win the Choreography Award! Killed it.
  • August 2014 – immaBEAST DVD released featuring the entire team. Becomes a top selling instructional DVD for hip-hop dancers https://sparkleslund.com/?p=413
  • October 2014 – worked one-on-one with WilldaBEAST and Janelle Ginestra https://sparkleslund.com/?p=17014
  • October 2014 – immaBEAST performed at DanceON in Los Angeles at an event featuring the stars of the upcoming movie Beyond The Lights. – Here is our video https://youtu.be/qYre6y7NJKs
  • November 2014 – on set for the filming of a video to Touchin, Lovin for Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj – https://sparkleslund.com/?p=17033
  • November 2014 – lilBEASTS do a video for @Ciara “That’s Right” https://youtu.be/ruAshPdTdrM
  • December 2014 – I book a job to dance in the season finale of Dancing with the Stars with fellow immaBEAST dancers Trinity Inay, Soni Bringas, and Jordyn Jones,  https://youtu.be/IuYmnhr8hEA
#immaBEAST crew selected for Dancing with the Stars

#immaBEAST crew selected for Dancing with the Stars

The Journey Continues

Being on immaBEAST is a blessing. Will is one of the most humble, hard working, generous, and genuine people I have ever met. He surrounds himself with people that are not only talented, but have big hearts. The team is really a family of people who help each other and I have made friendships that I expect to span a lifetime.

Kaycee Rice TwinningNo matter where I go – a convention, a competition, an audition, or even a class in LA, I am bound to run into another member of the immaBEAST family.

Join Us!

I hope that you can make it to the #buildaBEAST event. Again, be sure to get your tickets right away. It will sell out fast.

Happy Valentines Day

By | Dance, Vlogs, Work | No Comments

Sparkles Lund and Taylor HatalaA few weeks ago I had the opportunity to do this collaboration video with one of my friends, #lilBEAST team members, and favorite dancers, Ms. Taylor Hatala. Choreography for the video was none other than #immaBEAST team member Antoine Troupe. Of course, the video was produced and directed by my friend and life coach, @directorBrazil. The concept was focused around a Valentines Day release using the hit Meghan Trainor song, Dear Future Husband.

I hope you like it.

Press Release

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Valentine’s Day is not a romantic Hallmark card for 11-year-old Taylor Hatala and 12-year-old Sparkles Lund. Too young to date and too soon to have found love, these two young professional dancers worked with renowned freestyle and hip-hop choreographer Antoine Troupe to produce a Valentine’s Day video to Meghan Trainor’s song, “Dear Future Husband,” being released February 14 on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER6O55iAPZk).

“When you are our age, boys are just friends,” says Edmonton-born Taylor Hatala. Hatala is commuting to Los Angeles and working part-time as her burgeoning career develops. As testament to Hatala’s talent, her YouTube videos to Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rgfF_c6uPaU) and Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pfloxVMJGw), have been seen more than 30 million times, garnering appearances on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and RyanSeacrest.com, among others. Troupe, Hatala and Sparkles Lund became friends dancing on the immaBEAST hip-hop crew, under director Will ‘WilldaBeast’ Adams.

According to Troupe, the concept for the video was born during the filming of the immaBEAST routine for the Choreographers Carnival Anniversary show this past January.

“Although dance is my life,” says Troupe, “I am driven by the impact that dance has on developing healthy, active, and confident kids.” Troupe selected the piece that he claims was ready made for Sparkles and Taylor.

“Meghan Trainor’s work is perfectly kid-style,” says Sparkles Lund, who recently released a video last week to Trainor’s hit “Lips Are Movin” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hA5VLVq7dc). “What girl doesn’t want a future husband that brings flowers, open doors, and wants to be her one and only?” Lund asks.

Sparkles Lund began her professional career in dance at age 10. Her recent work includes a three-city tour for Macy’s Glamorama and an appearance on the finale of ABC-TV’s Dancing With The Stars, performing to “Hard Knock Life” from the new Annie movie.

“Working with superstars like Taylor Hatala and Antoine Troupe is a blessing,” confesses Lund. “It’s so exciting to see Taylor’s career skyrocket, and I am so happy that Antoine was able to work with Prince to choreograph his latest video ‘Breakfast Can Wait.'”

YouTube is fast becoming the path to rapid stardom for many of today’s young performers, circumventing the previous paths that were largely limited through New York and Los Angeles.

Lund, who lives in Arroyo Grande, locate on California’s Central Coast near San Luis Obispo, and Hatala, who lives in Edmonton, Canada, are adopting the strategy started by Willdabeast by creating their own YouTube channels to self-publish their work. Willdabeast is teaching young dancers that YouTube is a place where you can make a mark and punch up your career. His YouTube page has more than 735,000 subscribers and more than 100 million views. Hatala’s YouTube channel is at http://bit.ly/taylorhatala and Sparkles Lund YouTube channel is at https://www.youtube.com/user/sparkleslund.

About the Video
Dancers: Sparkles Lund & Taylor Hatala
Choreography – Antoine Troupe
Director – Brazil Siqueira
Music – Meghan Trainor, “Dear Future Husband”

immaBEAST DVD

By | Dance, Friends | One Comment
Sparkles Lund and Will Adams Willdabeast

Willdabeast

 

A few weeks ago, WilldaBeast (Will Adams) invited all of the lilBEASTS (including me) to come film Year 2 of his immaBEAST instructional DVD. For those of you who have no idea what any of this means, I joined a hip hop crew called lilBEASTS recently, click here to learn more about it, but if you’re only confused about the DVD part, I will fill you in now!

Instructional DVD’s can be used for anything from “How to Knit” to “How to Dance” which in my case is the purpose. In this instructional DVD, Willdabeast teaches a ton of his dances that he originally taught in class. I think its really great because if you live far away, but you want to take a class from WilldaBeast, you can!  He offers it to hip hop dancers and aspiring hip hop dancers around the globe to have the chance to take class from him even if you don’t live in Los Angeles where he lives and teaches. His video from last year just hit 30 Million views – so you can understand the quality I am talking about.

The way that lilBEASTS is involved is we assist him for one of the dances, to the song, “Get Me Bodied” by Beyónce. It was really fun, because most of us (including myself) didn’t know the dance yet, so it was like a private class just for us! The choreography was a little bit challenging, but I picked it up quickly. The dance was hip hop, but it was a little bit sassy too. I mean, come on, you can’t not be sassy when you’re dancing to Beyónce! Man, I love that girl. Anyway back to the point, we spent about an hour filming, and then we were finished! That was the end of yet again, another amazing day with all the lilBEASTS and WilldaBeast.

I hope you enjoyed learning about when I filmed an instructional DVD with WilldaBeast!  If you would like to pre-order the video you can click here!  It will help raise money for WilldaBeast and all of his amazing dance efforts!   Tell me what you think of the video after you buy it!

Here is the Trailer

 

 

Video Interview with Juju

By | Dance, Friends, Uncategorized | One Comment

If you don’t know what a vlog is, it is a video blog. To switch it up a little bit, I decided to do a vlog instead of a regular blog post. Hope you enjoy!

In this video I introduce one of my best friends, Juju. We have known each other since I started competition dancing at age 9, and our families are friends too. She is also a professional dancer and books a lot of work (#proudfriend, #loveher!). Follow her on instagram at http://instagram.com/jjjjjuju (5 js).

In this vlog, we talk about favorite movies – outfit of the day – and a story about the scariest thing that happened (think HOUSE ON FIRE). Not to spoil the ending, but it is not what you think and it is really funny.

Note to remember – Stay Calm……..sometimes your breath can go a long way to save the day.

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.

JuJu Plays Applejack In New Commercial

By | Friends, Work | 2 Comments

Juliana KellerOne of the great things about Dellos Performing Arts Center (DPAC) is the opportunity to be friends and dance with so many amazingly talented kids. One of my besties is Juliana Keller (aka Juju). She works really hard and is one of the top dancers at our studio. I learn so much from watching her. She is awesome.

Juju and her family have also been working on developing a career in the entertainment industry. Doing commercials, acting, dancing, singing, and that sort of stuff helps us offset the costs of our dance training. Auditions are always better when you get hired! I am so happy for Juju who is the absolute STAR of this video for My Little Pony. She plays the role of Applejack – sporting the hat and rocking out on the guitar.

I have known Juju ever since I started dancing at DPAC. She has always been really nice to me and we have learned so much from each other. I’m really proud of her booking this commercial. She always looks like she’s having so much fun when she’s dancing, and I’m pretty sure that she actually is! I love you Juju!

Please watch this video and share it with your friends.

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

Aladdin Audition

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On Saturday, I had an audition for a production of Disney’s Aladdin at the Pasadena Playhouse. The audition started at 10:00 a.m. and I was done at 5 p.m. It was very tiring. The strange part is that it was part audition, part reality TV. The producer was Lythgoe Family Productions, so I guess I should not be that surprised that it felt like a So You Think You Can Dance audition. The choreography was done by Mario Mosley. It was the first time I auditioned with a choreographer that I knew. He teaches at Sol Innovations.

First, we learned a short routine to the Lady Gaga song, Applause. It was a really fun dance with a lot of personality(right up my alley). Next, they broke us up into groups based on the Disney character that was on our name tags(I was a Tinker Bell). After that, the judging began. I went into my group and we did the routine. After we finished, they asked us to switch lines and perform it again. I was really nervous because I had no idea what the judges thought about my dancing and my personality. Then, they told us to form a straight line and surprisingly everyone went through in my group, but it kind of upset me because some of the people in it were not very talented. After we were judged, they put an orange sticker on our name tags and told us to come back at 2:00. Soon after, I went to Red Robin with my dear friends Valentina and Alexis. I had a grilled cheese with a chocolate milkshake.

When we went back to where the audition was being held, we saw that a TON more people had come to audition and we found out that those were the people that they booked last year and about 20 others. While they were auditioning, the rest of us got more time to go over the dance and make new friends. Then it was our turn,

 

Third Place Is Still Winning

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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.