Local dancers shine at prestigious national event

Three dancers from the Old Dominion Performance Arts Studio in Downtown Waynesboro were honored among the elite at a recent New York City Dance Alliance event in Baltimore.

Donovan Mellon and Katlyn Lawhorne both were awarded scholarships, and Kristina Winn was a finalist for another scholarship awarded by the Dance Alliance at the Jan. 13-15 event.

Mellon, 14, a freshman who is home-schooled, received a Ballet Scholarship, one of eight awarded by the Dance Alliance, and a Future Star Scholarship, one of three awarded to recognize exceptional potential in a student.

Lawhorne, 14, a freshman at Waynesboro High School, also received a Future Star Scholarship. Winn, 17, a junior at Fort Defiance High School, was a finalist in the prestigious Senior Outstanding Dancer Scholarship Audition.

The trio and other dancers from Old Dominion among the 12 who took part in the Dance Alliance event represented the school well, said Dulcey Fuqua, a dance instructor and the founder of Old Dominion Performance Arts Studio, which opened in 2000.

“I am beyond proud of our dancers,” Fuqua said. “This is the first year we have started off our season with a New York City Dance Alliance competition/convention, which are known to attract some of the best studios in the country and even worldwide.

“We always go to these events with the purpose of learning, growing and being inspired by the amazing instructors and talented dancers we share the dance floor with for the weekend – but to come out with the recognitions we did was a wonderful way to kick off our season.”

More than 400 dancers from across the country took part in the Dance Alliance event.

“For our dancers who often joke about being the little school in a little town, to be recognized on such a national stage was so inspiring to them,” Fuqua said. “I have always known they have the potential to go out their and fight for their dreams, but it is nice for them to realize others are noting their hard work and accomplishments as well.”

In addition to the three individual awards, two Elite teams from ODPAS won Outstanding Interpretation Awards – for a group dance, “Always There,” performed in honor of former dancers Lindsay Hyson and Hayley Kudro, and “Time Flies.”

More information on the Old Dominion Performance Arts Studio is available online at www.PerformODS.org.


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