The Youth Show and Junior Premier teams competed in the Provo High Dancesport Festival on January 29th and 30th, 2021. Formation team events were virtual making it possible for teams to compete with youth from across the nation and with teams they customarily see at Nationals once each year.
Junior Premier competed both their ballroom medley “Knight’s Quest” placing second and their Latin medley “Dynasty” placing third. Youth Show earned first place in the Youth Showcase division with their tango “Patapan,” second place in the Youth Music Video Large Group division with “Thunderclouds,” and tenth place with their latin medley “Aladdin.”
Videos of the dances were due for submission a week prior to the event which left only a couple weeks after the holiday break to learn medleys and formations, fit costuming, and prepare to perform all while dancing outside on the Blacktop in the cold and dark and sometimes rain. “For many of the dancers,” said Youth Show coach Adam Lee, “the day we filmed was the first time they had worn their dance shoes in more than six weeks since the Health and Safety restrictions were further restricted just before Thanksgiving. Our team captains Emma Mattson and Carson Ricks were especially excited about this opportunity for the team and build the enthusiasm.”
Carson said, “It really pushed and motivated us to practice. All of our performances before this had been prerecorded and we could use as many takes as we wanted to get it right. But these had to be filmed all in one shot, without editing. It was a good challenge for us.”
“It was important to me that we had a goal and something specific to work toward,” added Junior Premier coach Heather Bryant. “We usually work on medleys for 2-3 months to prepare to compete, so compressing our preparation into only 2-3 weeks was demanding, but the dancers rose to the challenge, stayed focused, and worked together. Considering all that was against us, we felt very successful!”
The competition streamed online and students watched from home. “JP held a zoom call and watched the events together, which really made it fun. Dancers shared comments and reactions and enjoyed watching their competitors as well. We all got nervous as the emcees began announcing the results!” said Heather. Carson Ricks added, “It was cool to watch from home and not from the bleachers in a stuffy gym.”
The event organizers mailed a trophy to PBD displaying the placements and titles PBD won between the two teams and five categories. They also sent judges comments.
“I thought the event was well organized and it was a satisfying competition experience. I’m so glad we did it!” said Heather.