April 7, 2015

Dance team shines in first competition

By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer

Watford City’s only dance school was able to compete in their very first regional competition in Bismarck on March 21 and 22. The five competition dancers went into the competition as both the smallest and newest school, and brought back two gold and four high silver trophies.
“For this being their very first competition after only dancing for two years, I am extremely proud,” says Lindsay Wingerter, studio owner/instructor. “My competition girls did a wonderful job.”
The competition team brought four solos and two group dances to the “Celebration Town” regional competition in Bismarck. Jonni Sanborn danced a solo lyrical to “Moon Song” and earned a high silver. MacKenzie Olson presented a jazz solo to “Play it Right” and earned a high silver. Emily Speers danced a lyrical solo to “Eet” and earned both a gold and an overall high score in her division. And Leah Grimes presented a tap solo to “Brand New Key” and earned a high silver.
The group presented two group dances: the first was a jazz dance to “My Moon, My Man,” and they received a gold trophy. The second group number was a ballet group dance to “Ice Dance,” earning them a high silver trophy.
The competition dancers were very excited to share their thoughts and experiences having competed in their first dance competition. “I’m proud that I got a trophy and that I worked hard. It was like a little vacation,” said Jonni. “My favorite thing is that we got to put costumes and makeup on, and we got to watch other dancers because we’ve never done that before. It was a fun working vacation,” stated Emily. “Just going there and getting to dance was awesome. The whole thing was great,” added Chloe Gronos. “The best part is that we went out there and tried our best and didn’t make any mistakes,” said Leah. “And we got to watch dancers dance and we did really good. We got trophies for working really hard,” concluded MacKenzie.
The dancers, their families, and Wingerter all traveled to Bismarck for the competition, staying in a hotel, going out for dinner, swimming, and having the unique opportunity to not only make, but share in an experience they never had before.
“I forget what that’s like from a kid’s eye again,” said Wingerter. “Every little detail was really a great experience for these girls. I pretty much cried the whole time. They’re my babies. This was a huge competition and we were up against dancers that had danced for years. These girls just started two years ago. I’m very proud of them, their overall attitude, and the hard work they put in. They’ve learned a lot and they’re ready to go next year.”
The dancers and their families spent several months fundraising to get to and fund their first competition. Through a bake sale, a Cash Wise fundraiser, private donations, a Jamberry Nails fundraiser, and multiple halftime performances, the team raised $2,189. This covered hotel accommodations, registration fees, costumes, and warm-ups.
“That amount pretty much covered everything,” said Wingerter. “It was also a very good experience for the girls to have to work hard for something they wanted so badly. And they all worked very hard. I am so proud of the girls, and I also want to thank all who have helped us along in making this a possibility.”
With a successful first-time competition, the Meadowlark Dance  Studio competition team will definitely be looking at competing in another regional competition next spring.
“I’m really impressed with how well the girls did for their first competition,” said Katie Sanborn, a competition dance parent. “The whole event was incredible. The level of competitors - for them to get out there and compete with them was really incredible. And Lindsay has been an amazing teacher to these girls. Everyone just really came together and worked as a team.”
“I think Lindsay going above and beyond - she really got us there,” said Sunshine Speers, another competition dance parent. “The community’s support was incredible. They really came through for us financially. The dancers worked really hard, and the big sisters too.”
The Meadowlark Dance Studio was established two years ago and is Watford City’s first dance school. To learn more about the school, visit their website at www.meadowlarkdance.com.