Rocking the shelves: China Grove dancers raise money for food bank

Published 12:10 am Friday, July 21, 2023

CHINA GROVE — Members of Center Stage Dance Company recently got to do what they love — dance competitively with other groups from around the country. As a bonus, parents attending the event got to get on stage and raise money for a local nonprofit.

The competition was held in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and featured more than 100 dancers and 45 dancing parents, who also got in on the fun at the national event.

Studios represented in Myrtle Beach ranged from Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Washington, South Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, New York, Illinois and Indiana.

During the contest, local Center Stage dancers received the Groove Award, a $1,000 cash prize, for being selected as the studio with the highest scores for their top five 12-and-under routines, combined with their top scores for their top five 13-and-over routines.

Out of a possible 1,500 points, the Center Stage dancers captured the overall award with a score of 1,477.

During the course of the week, the highest scoring routines, according to the size of the group and age, were invited back to compete on the final day in “The Jam,” competing with the best of the best for the event.

A studio can only be represented once in each division. Center Stage was represented with ten routines in “The Jam.”

The following routines by Center Stage made the cut to compete for the overall junior and senior titles: Showoff, The Pompeii Club, The Journey, All That Really Matters, Hollyrock, All Again, Vibe Check, Love Line, Haus Of Legends and Revenge Of The Royal Merchant.

The Journey was selected as the top teen small group. Haus Of Legends was selected as the top junior line. Love Line was selected as the top teen line. Revenge Of The Royal Merchant was selected as the top junior production.

Each group received a six-foot trophy. Of all the 13-and-over dances, Love Line was selected as the top senior routine, winning a $1,000 cash prize and an additional six-foot trophy.

The dancers in Love Line that won the top prize were Katie Antosek, Eva Bean, Emree Blackwelder, Bradyn Burgess, HesterGrace Covington, Harper Davis, Isabella File, Molly Graham, Korbyn Hudson, Emerson Knott, Hayden Knott, Ava McCall, Ashley Myers, Kelsie Myers, Jenna Plummer, Kamryn Sigmon, Kyndal Sigmon, Carsyn Stelmack, Jaiden Taylor and Ivey Wilson.

During the week, dancers were scored on their routines. Eighteen routines from Center Stage received the rarely presented “Groove Perfection” for a routine that was just shy of a perfect score. Receiving the recognition were the routines Vanishing Moments, Vibe Check, All Again, The Waltz, Whatever Lola Wants, The Journey, Love You The Most, Flowers, All That Really Matters, Love Line, Fly Before You Fall, The Pompeii Club, Don’t Leave Me, That Girl, Revenge Of The Royal Merchant, Haus Of Legends, The Confession and Technologic.

Soloists competed for Dancer Of The Year honors by performing their solo in round one and auditioning for the judges during master classes. Round two featured a private audition before returning to the stage in round three for the final showcase and performing solo once more.

Bianca Lewis was crowned the winner of the junior division. Covington was second runner-up in the teen division. Also making it through all three rounds of competition were Phoenix Overcash and Stelmack in their respective divisions.

The Parent Dance Battle was a highlight for the week at Groove Nationals. Center Stage was represented by a group of 45 dance parents competing for the bragging rights and a cash prize donated to the charity of their choice.

Center Stage parents were winners of the Parent Dance Battle and chose to donate their $3,500 prize to Main Street Marketplace and Meeting Place in China Grove. The nonprofit’s director, Hope Oliphant, shared how the funding will be used.

“In partnership with Healthy Rowan, Rowan Cabarrus Community Health Center, Rowan Cabarrus YMCA (Southern branch), and Catawba College, Main Street Marketplace is excited to launch our food pharmacy program and the help of the donated funds from Center Stage comes at the perfect time,” Oliphant said in a statement. “The food pharmacy program will run from August until December. Building on the success of our pilot program, we have made necessary adjustments to ensure the program’s effectiveness. Qualified participants will receive three family-size meal kits for $30 every week, complete with all the necessary ingredients, recipes and nutrition education. This comprehensive approach aims to empower families to incorporate healthy eating habits into their daily lives.

“Additionally, participants will have access to valuable resources such as chronic disease prevention classes, a blender, measuring cups and a spice kit. Furthermore, they will receive a four-month membership to the Fred Corriher YMCA, thanks to the kind support of our local community dance studio.”

In the past 12 months, the Center Stage parents participating in The Parent Dance Battle have donated almost $8,000 to Main Street Marketplace for their dance efforts at Groove National Dance Competition.