Megan Blosser worked four or five nights a week for six months with her dance partner, Kristina Winn, on the dance routine that won the duet recognition at the recent DanceMakers Inc. competition in Richmond. That’s how you have to do it to get every step, every move of the arms, every smile just right.
“Every time you do it, you look back, and there are mistakes, and you just work to get better and better,” said Blosser, 13, an eighth-grader at Wilson Middle School who has been dancing at the Old Dominion Performance Arts Studio in Downtown Waynesboro for five years.
Director Dulcey Fuqua didn’t want Old Dominion to be a “competition studio” when she opened the doors nine years ago, but she’s coming around on that. “There are benefits to competitions for people who want to do them,” said Fuqua, an Augusta County native who started Old Dominion in 2000 to fill a void in Waynesboro in terms of the availability of dance classes here locally.
“This is a whole different level of dancing,” said Fuqua, who opened the studio nine years ago with 10 students and is now running classes for 45 students out of the West Main Street studio that is bursting at the seams these days.
“We do shows, and you work hard to make them good. But it’s not bad in a local show if somebody’s off a little, if somebody’s arm isn’t at the right angle, something like that. When you do competition dancing, they look at everything, absolutely everything,” Fuqua said.
One of the tricks to the trade for Fuqua is giving her students the reins to choreographing their own dance steps. “That made them point out the things that they needed to do to get better and helped them build as a team,” Fuqua said.
Winn, 14, an eighth-grader at Stewart Middle School who is among the first students to have enrolled at Old Dominion, signing up for her first class in kindergarten, came back from the DanceMakers Inc. competition with a new level of confidence about her dancing.
“It’s good to see people performing in that kind of environment because you can get lots of tips from them – some things you never thought of doing, and you see them do it. It’s good to bounce ideas off each other and see what works,” said Winn, who took third in Teen Duet with Blosser and second in Teen Group Jazz with Blosser, Alexandra Powdrell, Alexandra Bjarkadottir and Chelsie Burks in the DanceMakers Inc. competition.
Burks and Powdrell took home individual second-place honors in Teen Solo and Bjarkadottir took first in senior solo.
– Story by Chris Graham