The Ramona-Julian Academy of Dance has new reason to tap their toes and strut their stuff—they received top honor on March 2 at a local dance competition in La Jolla.
"It was amazing!" Academy owner Kristi Durbin-Griffin told Patch. "It was so exciting, we won so many awards!"
Among the awards won by the dance studio that sits at 1530 Main St. (#14) was the highest honor: Top Studio Award.
"There were 19 studios who competed," Durbin-Griffin said. "This is the first time we've ever received the Top Studio Award in our 26 years."
Durbin-Griffin called the achievement "surreal" and said the local academy's hip hop group was among the top performers at the competition held at Mandeville Auditorium on the campus of University California, San Diego.
"Our hip hop got overall highest score," Durbin-Griffin said. "Our 'character' in teams also got highest score."
Other notable achievements from the competition include:
- Gym: High Gold, 1st place Jr. Large Groups
- Jr. Gym: Gold, 8th place Petite Small Groups and Special Judges Award: "Visually Entertaining"
- Tap: Gold, 8th place Intermediate Small Groups
- Jazz Small Group: Gold Plus Special Judges Award:"Sassy"
- Teen Open: High Gold, 3rd place in Teen Intermediate Small Groups
- Musical Theatre: High Gold, 1st—Teen Large Group PLUS 1st OVERALL Teen Lg. Grp. (Character)
- Junior Ballet: High Silver
- Gym Duo: High Gold, 1st place in Duo/Trio Division and Special Judges Award:" Love To Dance"
- Trinity Bellamy: High Gold and 1st Place Beginner Teen Solo Division
- Destiny Cooley: High Gold and 2nd place Junior Solo
- Adrianna Eckert: Gold, 4th Place Beg.Teen Solo and Special Judges Award: "Love to Dance"
- Sonja Fortier: High Gold and 5th Place Junior Solo
- Meryl Hubbard: Gold and 9th Place Junior Solo
- Emily Payne: Gold and 6th Place Beginner Teen Solo
- Chersten Sandvik: Gold and 2nd Place Beginner Senior Solo
- Hayley Weber: High Gold and 4th Place Intermediate Teen Solos
The dance studio participated in ballet, tap, jazz, gymnastics, American Sign Language, lyrical, musical theater and hip hop at the competition. Durbin-Griffin said this is the first of four competitions for the season.
"We won $1,000 credit to our entry for the National Competition in Las Vegas," Durbin-Griffin said. "And we won $500 toward a workshop there, too."
The dance studio owner said she's still unsure if they'll be able to make the national competition, since it's being held the same weekend, June 29, as their big dance recital.
For now, the dancers are twirling in their success and preparing for their next competition with high hopes for the future, according to Durbin-Griffin.
"The kids are so excited."
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