Torrington, Wyo. (Story by Denise Heilbrun-Ellis) April 25, 2022 —
Dancers from 28th Avenue Dance Studio in Torrington finished their competition season on a high note in Gillette, Wyoming’s Spotlight Dance Competition. The studio, owned by Stephanie Kath, along with her daughter, Taylor Bartel, took 28 dancers to the competition.
Summer 2021 Kath and her daughter decided to have competitions teams, and held auditions for Petite, Junior and Senior Companies.
“It truly was a fun and successful season!” Bartel said. “I think my favorite award of the season was Judge’s Choice Award for our Junior Company – “Love For Dance.” Their passion was evident on stage, and I always want my students to love dance just as much as I do.
“Many of our kids were first time competitors and have been waiting to compete since before the pandemic,” she continued. “We were ready to get back at it. Our competitive teams (Company Stars) are designed to give the more serious and committed dancers more performance opportunities. We challenge them to show up, work hard, push themselves and be accountable to their team first and foremost. We want to create an environment where dancers feel seen and heard aside from sports. Dance combines the best of both worlds – Art and Athleticism.”
The studio came away with an abundance of awards, but it was all topped off with a First Place Overall Large Group-Category Winner and Diamond Award with their Senior Company Stars in the Future Gems Division.
Also receiving awards in the Elite Gems Division was duo Avey Jespersen and Elise Coupe (student choreography) – Ruby Award; duo Austene Mikiewicz and Elise Coupe – Ruby; Avey Jespersen, solo, Ruby; Elise Coupe, solo, Emerald; duo Avey and Nora Jespersen, Ruby; Ballet V Class, Ruby award.
Future Gems Division: Groups, Senior Company Stars, First Place Overall Large Group, Category Winner and Diamond; Tap IV Class, Fourth Place Overall, Small Group, Judge’s Choice Award for “Fabulous Footwork,” Diamond; Senior Company, Diamond; Duos/Trios: Avyanna Martinez and Tessa Larkin, Spotlight Showmanship Award, NYC Award, Ruby; Madyn Clarke and Audrina Dugger, Ruby; Solos – Audrina Dugger, Judge’s Choice Award for “Originality,” Category Winner, Student Choreography; Avyanna Martinez, Best Costume Award; Madyn Clarke, Ruby; Remington Davis, Ruby; Nora Jespersen, Ruby, Audrina Dugger, Ruby; Avyanna Martinez, Ruby and Madyson Banister, Emerald Award; Briella Wolfe-Ruby.
Novice Gems Category: Junior Company Stars, Ruby; Petite Company Stars, Category Winner, Ruby; Paizley Ewald-Seventh Place Overall, Category Winner, Diamond; Rosa Muñoz-Ninth Place Overall, Ruby.
The previous weekend the studio attended KAR (Kids Artistic Revue) Dance Competition in Denver and brought home many awards and 19 of the competitors received invitations to New York City this summer. The dancers earned Elite Top First Awards – three; Top First Awards – 20; Overall High Point – 10; NYC Invitations – 19; HDE Scholarships – 13; Best Costume and Most Entertaining, one; Special Awards – two.
Solos – Nora Jespersen, Top First, Valentina Deen, Top First, All-Star Dancers NYC Award.
Junior Company Stars-5th Place Overall, Judge’s Choice Award, All Star Dancers NYC Award, Top First; Petite Company Stars-3rd Place Overall, Judge’s Choice Award, Top First
Solos/Duos: Avey And Nora Jespersen-Third Place Overall, All-Star Dancers NYC Award, Elite Top First ; Avyanna Martinez and Tessa Larkin-Fourth Place Overall, Elite Top First; Avyanna Martinez-Fourth Place Overall, Category Winner, Category-Tie Winner, Elite Top First, Top First; Paizley Ewald, Fourth Place Overall, All-Star Dancers NYC Award, Top First; Madyn Clarke, Fifth Place Overall, All-Star Dancers NYC Award, Top First; Remington Davis, Eighth Place Overall, Category Winner, Top First, Grace Kelly, Ninth Place Overall, Category Tie-Winner, Top First, Audrina Dugger-10th Place Overall, Two Top Firsts; Avey Jespersen-All-Star Dancers NYC Award, Top First; Madyn Clarke And Audrina Dugger-All-Star Dancers NYC Award, Top First; Rosa Muñoz-All-Star Dancers NYC Award, Top First; Brie Wolfe-Top First; Madyson Banister-Top First; Mallory Roth-Top First; Austene Mikiewicz-Top First
Senior Company Stars: Might Not Like Me-Top First and All-Star Dancers NYC Award, Burn It Up-Top First and Best Costume Award.
“Our dancers, parents, teachers, choreographers and office staff put in a lot of work throughout the season to make sure our students have great experiences,” Bartel said. “Stephanie is the heart and soul of this dance studio, and we are all lucky to be a part of it.”
The studio’s 2022-2023 class schedule is available online now at dancestudio-pro.com/online/28thavenuedancestudio and students may sign up now for next seasons classes. Also, Bartel is an Acrobatic Arts certified teacher. AcroDance will be added to the lineup of classes for next season. She will hold a six-week workshop this summer – students may also sign up on dancestudiopro.com. There are limited spots available and the link is available on the studio’s Facebook page.
Auditions for 2022-2023 Company Stars will be held May 16-17 at the dance studio.
The studio has about 225 students and are now getting ready for their annual dance recital, “Sunny Side of the Street,” which will be held on Friday, May 6, at 6 p.m., and Saturday, May 7 at 4 p.m.
The public may order recital tickets from Tututix at tututix.com. Type in Sunny Side of the Street after you click buy tickets.