Dance Tech dancers, whose ages run from 6 to 18, held their ground against students from 18 other Utah-based dance studios and came out on top.
Studio founder and director Nicole Fielding was especially surprised to receive this Overall High Point Studio Award during this competition because this was the first competition of the season.
"We usually see those types of awards come to us more toward the end of the competition season, so for us to receive this honor now was pretty exciting," Fielding said during an interview with The Park Record. "It was a pretty awesome weekend, to say the least."
Dance Tech entered 90 dancers — boys and girls — into the event, which featured competitions in classical ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and hip-hop.
"All of our kids' scores were incorporated into the total that helped us get the Overall Award, and we were the only studio that had dancers in every category," Fielding said. "I think that's what set us apart as well. We've been known for our hip-hop and jazz in the past, but our dancers dance everything very well.
"One of our focuses is, if the dancers choose, is to have them dance at a very high caliber in all styles," she said. "It's important to be trained in every style, because they need to be well-rounded if they want to continue to pursue dance in the future.
Dance Tech took 50 pieces, which included solos, duets and ensembles created by five chorographers, to the competition.
"We start preparing for our competition season in August and have students who compete in the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels," Fielding explained.
This year, Fielding has a large number of kids, between the ages of 7 and 10, who competed for the first time.
"These beginners take classes one day a week, and we have our advanced students who dance six days a week," she said. "And it was exciting to see that all the students, no matter how many days they commit to dancing with us, were all able to contribute to the total score."
In addition to the Overall High Point Studio Award, one of Dance Tech's teachers, Jenny Wilson, brought home the Choreographer Award for her piece "Respect My Conglomerate."
"The competition only awarded three choreography awards over the weekend and she got one," Fielding said. "That was exciting for us as well."
But the awards didn't stop there. Individual Dance Tech dancers Alyssa Kenniston and Susie Carroll were recognized with the Master Teacher's Overall Top Dancer and the Overall High Point Solo Award, respectively.
"The master teacher was Alex Clark, a professional dancer from Los Angeles whose work credits include touring with Marc Anthony and is one of the dancers on the TV show 'Glee,'" Fielding said. "He also dances on VH1's 'Hit the Floor,' and has appeared on 'Dancing with the Stars' and Radio City's Music Hall's 'Christmas Spectacular' tour."
Carroll won her award in the competitive teen division.
"She danced against the largest number of dancers in the whole competition and won for a contemporary solo," Fielding said. "We're very happy with how everything turned out."
Looking back on the weekend, Fielding is especially proud of how the Dance Tech dancers presented themselves.
"These kids were so excited to show how hard they have worked, and they came into the competition with confidence," she said. "They knew they had great choreography and costumes and it showed."
For more information regarding Dance Tech Studios, its upcoming summer camps and open company audition dates, visit www.dancetechworld.com .