Dancers garner top honors
The Escambia County Middle School dance program was close to being done away with earlier this year because of funding issues.
Instead, on Nov. 22-23, the troupe under direction of Reed Adams, attended the Dancemakers of America Convention in Mobile and brought home top honors.
They have gone to the convention for four years in a row, and while there they participate in classes in ballet, modern jazz and tap from internationally known teachers from New York and LA.
More than 600 students participated in the event this year. Costs for the Atmore contingent to attend were donated by Fred Edmiston.
Because funds for attending the conference were still up in the air until the last minute, the group only had six days to rehearse.
The group had to compete against troupes that had been practicing together for months, and who had spent large amounts of money on the costumes they wore. The Atmore students designed their own costumes individually, and with the help of Judith Adams, created them out of odds and ends, and things available here in town.
Instead of coming off as country come to town, the dance team was commended on the individuality and originality of their costumes.
The 80-team competition took more than five hours.
The trophy was for first place in the senior division, and the team will move on in the competition, as the top 10 go to Myrtle Beach, S.C. in the spring for the national convention.
The dance troupe is made up of Crystal Brown, Janay Baltes, Jessica Hall, Jessica Pipkin, Anna Lisa McGhee, Jordan McGill, Becky Martin and Mitchell Adams.
Because of the win, Reed Adams will have a busy holiday season.
She is being sent to New York City to attend the Dancemakers of America winners seminar, designed to prepare the teachers of the troupes for the competition in Myrtle Beach.
While there, Reed Adams will also take classes at the Broadway Dance Center and the Luigi Jazz Center to prepare herself for teaching dance.
She is looking forward to meeting other teachers and has said she is very proud of her dancers who made competing in the final possible.