Last weekend, 14 girls from The Colony Dance, Inc. took home the greatest prize in the Texas Dance Challenge competition – they were named the Grand Champions.
Each of the dancers is well versed in various styles and utilized their breadth of knowledge in dance to take home the top prizes in every category they competed in: lyrical, contemporary and hip-hop. There were also individual dancers and instructors recognized for superior skill and choreography. Their major success in all of the competitions granted them one of the biggest opportunities that a young dancer can get – an invitation to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City this year.
Founder and director of the dance studio, Robin Dierckman, has owned the studio since 2008 but only began entering her dancers into competitions last year.
“It took us since 2008 to be ready,” Dierckman said. “I wanted to make sure we had the technique and showmanship down first.”
The majority of her students are residents of The Colony and have been with her since the dance studio was created. Her goal was to create a studio that would give her students a strong background in various styles of dance rather than focusing on only one style.
“Our students’ strength is the variety,” she said. “I didn’t want a hip-hop company. I didn’t want a jazz company. I didn’t want a tap company. I wanted a company where students get a strong foundation in all styles of dance.”
Though they won first place last year, because the dancers only competed in one category last year during the Texas Dance Challenge, they were ineligible for the Grand Champion prize.
This year, the dancers won the following awards:
They won first place and best in category in the lyrical team competition. The TCD master teacher Casandra Reynolds also received a perfect score in choreography. In both advanced hip-hop and youth hip-hop, the students won first place and best in category. TCD master teacher Tiffanie Spencer also received a perfect score in choreography. In the contemporary routine, they won first place and best in show.
TCD dancer Madison Loewen won soloist finalist for her hip-hop solo. The dancers collectively received the judges award, sweepstakes and were named Grand Champion, which is the highest award any team could receive.
Though the trip to New York could be a life changing opportunity for the girls who won the awards, Dierckman plans to meet with the parents of the students to see if the trip will be feasible from a scheduling and financial standpoint.
“We have to make sure this works out for our students,” she said. “I know what they want, but I need to make sure it’s feasible. We have a very reasonable fee for our classes, so it’s not like we have a ton of money saved up. This would have to be something we put together ourselves. At this point, it’s just an honor to be invited.”
There have been many accomplishments for the dance team this past year from her students being highlighted on Good Morning Texas to her students becoming Grand Champions at the Texas Dance Challenge.
All of these accomplishments have come as a pleasant surprise for Dierckman, but she is certain that this is just the beginning of their accomplishments and opportunities.
“This is definitely not going to be our last opportunity,” she said. “I do see us continuing to grow. I see a positive future for The Colony Dance. I see more incredible things coming our way.”