Barnes dancers win gold

Senior students from the Barnes Dance Academy have scooped up gold, in the annual Celebrity Dance Competition, this year held on the Royal Caribbean’s Majesty of the Seas.

Senior students from the dance studio – Janelle Tibbets, Stephen Nickelson, Latrese Haylock, Nora Myles, Ashley Christian and Whitney Foster – competed in three categories in the four day event held 15 to 20 July.

Over 20 other dance companies were represented at the event, many entering up to 30 students.

The Barnes students were selected after submitting a dance video during the preliminary heats in April.

Janelle and Stephen won gold in Character for their dance compositions from Broadway shows Tik Tik Boom and Chicago, receiving a standing ovation from the judges. Whitney garnered gold for her solo piece in the jazz section, while Latrese, Nora and Ashley scooped up gold in the open category.

‘It’s a huge accomplishment,’ Director of the dance school, Susan Barnes Pereira, said. ‘The competition was pretty intense, but they had a great time and I am extremely proud of the student’s accomplishments, especially that all six were successful, not just one or two.

‘It was also fantastic exposure, to work with that calibre of people there and to be exposed to dance outside of Cayman, to see the standard and how we have met and surpassed that is really very, very exciting.

‘I have been jumping over the moon since I heard the results.’

In addition to winning gold, Whitney also won a scholarship to attend a one day workshop with professional dancer Nick Gonzalez – choreographer with the hit show You Think You Can Dance. Judges were so impressed with the dance school, the invitation has been extended to other students who wish to participate.

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