Dance and gymnastic students earn awards
special to The Star
July 31, 2002
Dance students of Sharon Howard and gymnastic students of Richelle Gray, instructors with Pat Gray Academy of Dance and Gymnastics in Meridian, recently competed in regional competitions in Louisiana and Mississippi.
At the North American Dance Award Competition in Baton Rouge, La., the "Show Case" Elite Dance Troupe copped the Ultimate Gold Award for their jazz routine to "Hey, Big Spender" and took second place in the overall for High Score Group Routine.
Then at Dixie Dance Masters of America Competition in Biloxi, they earned a second place. Jennifer Johnson won the Junior Scholarship Award for her performance in ballet, jazz, tap and gymnastics.
Sharon Howard received the Choreographer's Award for "Hey, Big Spender" the Elite Dance Troupe's jazz routine; Natalie Goldman and Danielle Smith's lyrical jazz duet to "Last Dance"; Natalie Goldman's lyrical gymnastic solo to "Upon this Rock" and Abby Long's solo character interpretation to "Man of LaMancha." Howard was the only instructor at the competition who was honored with four choreographer's awards.
Natalie Goldman performed a lyrical gymnastic routine to "Upon this Rock" and received Ultimate Gold Award and the title of "American Dancer of the Year 2002" and Overall High Score for Solo Competition at the Regional.
Goldman's and Danielle Smith's duet to "Last Dance'' won Ultimate Gold Award and the Overall High Score for Duet competition.
Danielle Smith received a Gold Medal for her character jazz routine to "America."
Danielle Smith and Jessica Thrash took a High Silver for their duet to "Girl of the Month" in Baton Rouge and received a Silver second place at Dixie DMA in Biloxi.
Jessica Thrash received a Silver Medal for her jazz routine to "Dance at the Gym."
Nancy Siefker won a High Silver for her gymnastic modern jazz routine to "Cypress."
The Senior Dance Troupe won a Silver Award at the American Dance Association and took third place at Dance Masters of America with a Hip Hop Routine to "Come and Get It."
Frances Warner and Ashley Swearingen received a third place for their duet to "At the Hop" at Dixie DMA.
The Junior Dance Troupe copped first place at the Tremaine Dance in New Orleans, third place at Dance Masters and grabbed a Silver Medal at American Dance Awards with a tap routine to "Prisoner of Love."
Abby Long won a Gold Medal, High Score and Overall Best Costume for her solo performance to"Man of LaMancha" which Sharon Howard received the "Choreographer Award" for at the American Dance Awards in Louisiana.
Kristen Smith took a High Silver for her lyrical gymnastic routine to "In the Name of the Lord."
Amanda Santillano earned a Silver for her gymnastic jazz routine to "The Golden Cat."
Joya Johnson received a Silver for her character ballet routine to "God Bless the Outcasts."
The Petite Dance Troupe grabbed the Overall High Score Award at Dixie Dance Masters in the Petite Division and a first place. They took High Silver Award at the American Dance Awards, and a third place at Tremaine Dance Competition in New Orleans for their performance of the Characterization of the Broadway favorite Jazz Routine to "Steam Heat."
They have been invited to present their routine at the Title Competition in Lafayette, La., in November for the Dixie Dance Masters of America.
The Pee Wee Dance Troupe received a High Silver and first place in the Overall for the Primary Division at the American Dance Awards for Highest Score. They placed second at the Dixie DMA in Biloxi for their Jazz Routine to "Working Nine to Five."
Holly Howard &Danielle Smith took a-High Silver at American Dance Awards and a second place at Dixie Dance Masters for the Broadway Characterization of"Baby, I'm a Star."
Amber Wood brought home a Silver with her jazz gymnastic routine to "Bad to the Bone" at the American Dance Award Competition.
Raven Roberts received a Silver for her Lyrical Gymnastic Routine to "Hero."
Holly Howard got a Silver for her jazz routine to "I want to go to Hollywood."
The LaPetite Dance Troupe won a Silver Award for their musical theatre routine to "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outa My Hair" at the American Dance Awards.
Kelli Miller got a High Silver for her 50's gymnastic jazz presentation to "Let's Twist Again'."
The Primary Dance Troupe earned a Silver Award for their jazz routine to the old time favorite "Stupid Cupid."
The Pre-Troupe Dance Troupe also received a Silver Award for their jazz routine to "Two Girls for Every Boy." This was their first time to compete and did a great job for the Academy.
At the annual Summer Dance Camp held for Dance Troupe Members the Dancers and Gymnasts learned a Routine with a variety of Musical Hits from "T.V. Hits" and copped a High Silver and took overall fifth place Highest Score in the Production Division at American Dance Awards.
Pat Gray Academy of Dance and Gymnastics has been educating dancers and gymnastic in Meridian since 1955. Pat Gray and Sharon Howard are certified by Test to Teach Dance by the National Dance Masters of America. Pat Gray and Richelle Gray are Nationally Safety Certified in the sport of gymnastics.