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Dancers from Laura’s School of Dance in Richmond competed last month in the VIP National Dance Competition in Panama City, Fla. Competitors included: Front row — Emma Rupard, Isabella Murphy, Ryleigh Blythe, Kelcee Gabbard, Kylee St. Pierre, Grace Robinson and Gabriella Henrich. Middle row — Savannah Moore, Allie Hazelwood, Ashley Davis, Hannah Burchell, Kaylee Miller, Taylor Berryman and Kennedy Stacy. Back row — Paige Swope, Hannah Johnson, Sarah Bonn, Morgan Swope, Allison Jones, Zoe McGuire.

More than two dozen dancers from Laura’s School of Dance participated in the 2012 VIP National Dance Competition July 7 through 12 in Panama City, Fla.

The dancers competed in a variety of solo and group routines in various age and skill levels.

Advanced dancers competed in the Hollywood level, while intermediate dancers participated in the Broadway division.

The week of competition started off with a two-day workshop where several of the dancers took classes from professional dancers from around the country. At the end of the workshops a scholarship audition was held. Allie Hazelwood was one of three runner-ups in the 12-and-under category for the scholarship and received a $100 scholarship to attend more workshops.

Isabella Murphy won the photogenic contest.

In the Hollywood level mini solos (9 and under), Hazelwood placed sixth overall and Emma Rupard placed third and received a judges’ choice award.

In the junior solos (10-12 years old), Kennedy Stacy placed eighth overall and Savannah Moore placed sixth in the Broadway level.

In the Hollywood level, Kaylee Miller placed fourth overall, won the ballet award and received a judges’ choice award.

In the teen solos (13-15 years old), Hannah Johnson placed ninth overall, while Sarah Bonn placed eighth in the Hollywood level and Paige Swope placed fifth overall in the Broadway level.

 In the senior solos (16-19 years old), Ashley Davis placed sixth and Allison Jones placed eighth overall.

In the duet/trio division, “Come On Everybody” won a judges’ choice award and placed eighth overall in the Broadway level, “Nerdz” got second overall in the Hollywood level, while and Allison Jones and Sarah Bonn got the tap award.

In small groups, “Baby I’m A Star” placed third overall in the Broadway level minis. “Lullaby” placed third overall in the Hollywood level and “Hit Me Up” placed fourth overall in the Hollywood level minis.  

In the junior Hollywood level, “Ballroom Blitz” placed first, received the tap award, and a judges’ choice award, while “Everybody Salsa” placed fifth.

In the teen Hollywood level, “Seven Nation Army” placed first. In addition to placing in the top five overall in their age group, several of the pieces were in the top 15 of the whole competition of several hundred pieces.

At the end of the competition, the top 15 highest scoring Hollywood level pieces of the entire competition (regardless of age or division) and the top eight Broadway level pieces were selected to re-compete for an overall top 10.

In the Broadway level, “Baby I’m A Star” was selected as one of the top eight highest-scoring pieces to re-compete. In the Hollywood level, “Lullaby”, “Hit Me Up”, and “Ballroom Blitz” were all selected as three of the top 15 highest-scoring pieces of the entire competition.

On the final day of competition, “Ballroom Blitz” got the second-highest score of all age groups and pieces, got second place in the Most Entertaining and got the highest score out of all the tap pieces in the competition.

Dancers on the national champion piece “Seven Nation Army” were Ashely Davis, Allison Jones, Hannah Johnson, Zoe McGuire and Paige Swope.

Dancers on the national champion piece “Ballroom Blitz” were Taylor Berryman, Allie Hazelwood, Kaylee Miller, Emma Rupard and Morgan Swope.

Laura’s School of Dance has studios in Richmond and Berea.

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