TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Elite dancers from Marshall school dominate at national event

Submitted - Sixty-five dancers from the Elite Dance by Damian studio in Marshall brought home more than titles and trophies from the Showbiz National Talent competition in Virginia Beach, Va., They also collected $11,000 in prize money.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Sixty-five dancers from the Elite Dance by Damian studio in Marshall brought home more than titles and trophies from the Showbiz National Talent competition in Virginia Beach, Va., They also collected $11,000 in prize money.
Submitted - Julia Lotz, 18, of Cranberry Township, during the 'Solo Showdown' at nationals in Virginia Beach.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Submitted</em></div>Julia Lotz, 18, of Cranberry Township, during the 'Solo Showdown' at nationals in Virginia Beach.

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
 

Students from Elite Dance by Damian, a dance school in Marshall Township, hauled home more than titles and trophies from the recent Showbiz National Talent Competition in Virginia Beach.

They also collected about $11,000 in cash.

“We didn't know about, or anticipate, the monetary awards,” said Damian Kush of Richland, owner director of the dance studio.

After soloists receive their portions of the spoils for future class fees, Kush plans to spend the winnings on items to improve his studio.

“He took a lot home,” said Kris Klein, competition and marketing director for Westerfield Management in Mesquite, Texas, which produces Showbiz National Talent competitions.

Students from about 30 U.S. and Canadian dance schools competed in the Virginia Beach event.

“He's got a very advanced team (of dancers),” Klein said about Kush. “They perform high-level acrobatics and highly advanced technical skills.”

Kush, 33, a La Roche College graduate, oversees about 130 dance students, ages 6 to 18, plus, dance instructors that include Melissa “Misa” Pascarella of the Bodiography Contemporary Ballet Company.

Kush and his wife, Courtney, have three children: Nicholas, 12; Nathan, 8; and Lindyn, 2.

In early July at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, Kush's dance studio won the Rasta Thomas Ballet Strong Award for demonstrating the best ballet technique in “Paquita,” a work choreographed by Pascarella of Bodiography.

Elite Dance by Damian dancers, ages 12 to 15, also won a best-in-show-type National Icon Cup at the competition for their ensemble performance of “Over You,” a contemporary dance work choreographed to music from “The Great Gatsby” movie soundtrack.

Elite Dance students, ages 15 to 18, also won the diamond-level National Icon Cup for their group performance of “We Are Infinite,” another contemporary work, inspired by “The Perks of Being a Teenage Wallflower” movie and novel. Rebecca Alward, 25, of Cranberry, choreographed the work.

“That was the one we were hoping to win,” Kush said. “They were very excited because it was the biggest thing you could win. It was the top award.”

Among Elite Dance soloists, Julia Lotz, 18, of Cranberry received the highest score among diamond-level dancers at the Showbiz National Talent Competition.

That achievement earned Lotz an interview with the McDonald Selznick Associates talent agency in Los Angeles. Lotz also won the “Miss Showbiz” title at the competition in Virginia Beach.

“The instruction at Elite Dance by Damian is simply the best around,” Lotz said. “Damian gives his students a strong technique base and safe environment to create and develop as an artist.”

Sixty-five Elite Dance students competed in the Showbiz National Talent Competition with help from nearly 10 fathers who hauled stage props in a 30-foot-truck, and dub themselves, the Elite Nation Prop Pops.

“We are very proud of all the dancers this season,” said Dave Pritchard, 54, of Cranberry. His daughter Ashley, a senior at Seneca Valley High School, has been an Elite Dance student for nine years.

Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or ddeasy@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read North Hills

  1. NA grad formulates bath, beauty products with natural ingredients
  2. North Hills grad earns ‘principal of the year’ honor
  3. Wexford Health-hosted program to raise awareness of food allergies
  4. Franklin Park woman honored by Lupus Foundation
  5. Bungee-cord ride among new features at St. Alexis Festival
  6. Zelienople-based skateboard business starting to take off
  7. Workshop to shed light on using solar power in Ross
  8. Drone to help Northern Regional police zone in on missing, fleeing people
  9. Storytelling festival events set for 2 Hampton sites
  10. Richland Community Day promises smorgasbord of action
  11. Northgate Church members lead mission trip to help poor in West Virginia