Congratulations to the CVDA Company dancers who represented the state of Pennsylvania last week at Dance Excellence. Dance Excellence is a global dance festival that gives young dancers the opportunity to connect with others around the world who share a passion for dance.
On Sunday, April 14th, Dance Excellence 2019 began. Orientation was full of exciting introductions, a performance workshop with the Young Americans, and an opening event featuring dinner and a Bounce & Beats party for dancers to get to know one another before the week of classes and performances began.
Students danced their hearts out on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in master classes taught by the industry’s top professionals. Students took classes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Musical Theater, and a Performance Workshop. Master class instructors included Kathryn McCormick, Mark Meismer, Heidi Jarrett, Nick Young, Nolan Padilla, Melissa Sandvig, Andido Marshall, Mark Goodman, Mallauri Esquibel Hansen, Ade Obayomi, David Wilcox, Erick Paul, Cody Green, and Robyn & Bill Brawley. The theme of Dance Excellence 2019 was “Connect”. Our students had the opportunity to connect with their master instructors through classes, discover connections with dancers across the world, and develop a deeper connection to their fellow CVDA Dancers.
On Monday night, students got the opportunity to watch their Master Teachers in action, performing in “Monday Night Live”. This special dance concert hosted by Dance Excellence featured choreography and performances by the Dance Excellence Faculty, guest artists, and prominent LA Dance Companies. On Tuesday evening, students loaded into buses for a trip to Hollywood to see Fiddler On the Roof at the historic Pantages Theater.
Thursday was the first performance day of the week as Dance Excellence dancers took over Disneyland! Each studio had the opportunity to perform their own 10-minute themed show at the Fantasyland theater. CVDA performed a swing-inspired show including ballet, tap, and jazz choreographed by Miss Kim, Miss Alexa, Miss Pam, and the dancers.
Friday featured the International Performance Boards. This was the second performance opportunity for students. Our dancers were adjudicated on their performance pieces throughout the day. CVDA performed “Moonlight Sonata” choreographed by Kim Martin, a Beyonce Mashup choreographed by Alexa Meissner Chambers, “Waves” choreographed by Angela Bates-Majewski, and “That Man” choreographed by Pam Devenney. These dances were all awarded “Excellent”, the highest level of an award at Dance Excellence.
On Friday evening, all participating studios and dancers gathered in the hotel’s ballroom for the Dance Excellence Gala. This gala honored directors and dancers for their hard work and performances throughout the week. The Dance Excellence Company performed at the gala and featured two dancers from each studio performing alongside the Young Americans. CVDA Dancers MaryKate Meshurle and Nicole Dickson represented Pennsylvania in this show. These dancers also auditioned to join the Young Americans and were accepted into the Company at the Gala.
CVDA Dancers would like to thank Miss Kim, Miss Alexa, and Miss Cathy all of their hard work preparing for Dance Excellence and being such caring instructors. Our Students met incredible instructors at Dance Excellence, but are blessed to have some of the most inspiring teachers at home at Chester Valley Dance Academy.
Chester Valley Dance Academy has been participating in Dance Excellence for over twenty years. Each year, students return from the festival with not just a wonderful experience to remember, but a greater sense of self-confidence and appreciation for their art. Dancers come together from around the world and many of our students make life-long friends at the festival. Our dancers shared their thoughts on the incredible week they experienced:
“Dance Ex was the most amazing week of my life. Not only did I have so much fun with my best friends, but I learned so much and was happier than I’ve ever been. I connected with people from other states and countries, and even more importantly formed a bond with my group that is irreplaceable. Taking classes from incredible teachers and performing at Disneyland were so incredible to me. I made so many memories that will stick with me forever, and I felt the most loved I have ever felt in my whole life. The teachers and other dancers spread so much positivity and encouragement that it made me believe in myself more than I ever have.” ~ Lauren
“It’s so hard to put my experience at Dance Ex in words but if there’s one thing I loved most about it was the fact that it was a totally judgement free zone. We all danced that week because we love it and not to compete against one another. Through the encouragement of all of our master teachers and cheering on the sides of the dance floor, we danced with our hearts without worry about being judged on our technique. That’s what makes Dance Ex truly special!” ~ Sophia
“I experienced so many wonderful moments at Dance Ex such as performing at Disney, eating lunch with people from all over the world, performing at the international boards, and attending the master classes, my favorites being taught by Mallauri Esquibel, Alex Little, Melissa Sandvig, and Robyn Brawley. I cannot express how grateful I am to have had this opportunity to grow as a dancer and person, and for all the love and support given to us by the wonderful teachers at Chester Valley. If you get the chance, I would encourage any dancer to go on this trip. Dance Ex is something that has to be experienced to fully understand how incredible it truly is.” ~ Heidi
“I would say that Dance Excellence is indescribable. It’s what you feel that makes it so powerful. Standing in a room with dancers from all around the world and listening to the most inspiring master teachers was incredible. I cried so many tears and I could not tell you why. It’s just the energy and inspiration in the room that really gets to you. I know I will never forget how I danced at Dance Ex and the incredible impact it had on my life.” ~ Hannah