Inside Scoop with Sarah Frangenburg

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As we set forth on our “Give Out The Love Tour” this fall and we welcome our new Collective, we can’t help but reflect on what an amazing year we had with this past year’s original members. It was an amazing year full of learning experiences, growth and once in a lifetime opportunities for them to travel the country, assist the top instructors in the industry, and find out what it’s like to work behind the scenes for DanceMakers. It truly was amazing to watch each one of the Collective members find themselves through people that inspire them in class; some new, some old, and take those experiences to help them grow not only as dancers, but also as people. We decided we couldn’t quite sum up how this tour had changed their lives so we interviewed Sarah Frangenburg, a member of the 2013-2014 Collective, and let’s just say she had us feeling inspired! We are so grateful to have been able to share this beautiful experience with this amazing group of dancers and we will miss them dearly, but we are looking forward to making new memories with the 2014-15 Collective! Take a peek below for our amazing interview with Sarah Frangenburg. 

Q: What was your favorite memory of the “Be the Difference Tour”?

A: There’s so much that was my favorite – honestly, one would have to be nationals. Nationals was one of the best weeks I have ever had. It was so happy, and so joyful, yet it was so sad at the same time. I feel like that week was the summit of the entire year, and all the hard work came to life. Everything just made more sense - seeing everything come together.

Q: How has DanceMakers impacted your life as a dancer?

A: As a dancer it has brought me more out of my shell. It has made me more confident and made me appreciate what I have, what I can do, and pushed me to be better than I ever thought I could be. Its taught me that I can be good in styles that aren’t my strong suit and help me be more confident in getting better at them, especially Hip Hop (laughs). It has also taught me to really WATCH. Studying people and watching what they do, seeing what makes them different and beautiful, and using that to make me become better not only as a dancer, but also as a person.

Q: If you would give any advice to your little sister Sophie, who will be joining us for our “Give Out The Love” tour, what would it be?

A: I think the biggest advice would be to take EVERYTHING in. Every moment. Every new lesson that you learn. Everything someone says to you. Take it, and hold it in your heart. Put it into your being. Don’t forget ANY of it. Every class, weekend, and aspect. Every single breath you take. Be hungry for knowledge. Interact with people. Make it a point to give them hug. Ask them how they are. MEET people. It portrays who you are and who Dancemakers is. A piece of advice I would pass down would be from Kathryn about making eye contact with people. Look deep into their eyes when you are sharing a moment with someone. Its only between you two. No one else. Its one of the most amazing and powerful things someone can experience. 

Q: Who is the biggest inspiration in your life & why?

A: Kathryn. She has taught me so much this year. It’s really hard to explain in words how much she inspires me. She inspires me with every little thing that she does. Conversations, not only with me, but everyone else. She makes me want to be a better person, be my very best self, and put my heart into everything that I do.

Q: What went through your head when you found out you were going to be in the Collective? 

A: At first I think I was shocked and numb because I wanted it so badly. It was mind blowing. I think after that my mind was blank. I was so excited I couldn’t think of anything else. It was amazing! No one will know how much it meant to me, in that moment, on that stage, to have that feeling.

Q: How did the Collective change you as a person?

A: I think that it has made me more appreciative of every opportunity that I am given. It constantly made, and still makes me SO happy and has left such an impact on me that sometimes I would just sit and cry. Not because I was sad. I was just in awe. It made me realize that I can make a difference in someone else’s life just simply by being who I am, even if I don’t mean to. Its something I never really realized before. It brought on a new awareness of confidence for me. It made me aware that people are watching, even if I don’t know they are. It has taught me to always stay aware, and yet dance like no one is watching. 

Q: What is it about DanceMakers that is different to you than other companies?

A: DanceMakers is much more personal than any other company. Its not about being the best, or getting every combination, or winning a trophy. Its about feeling something. Its about dancing, and what that means to you. DanceMakers makes you feel like you are special and important, and that is HUGE. Especially to people who don’t have the confidence. It makes you feel like an individual. It’s not about the spotlight. It’s about you being you, and me being me, and being inspired, so you can inspire others. 

Q: If you could tell this year’s Collective one thing what would it be?

A: Work Hard. I would tell them to work hard because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you wont realize how much it changes you until its over. And if you work hard and put everything in, you will get everything out and it will change your life forever. 

Q: What’s your next step?

A: I change my mind every day!! Right now, I am going back to school. It will be my sophmore year in college. I’m excited about the next year – theres lots of cool stuff happening. Alvin Alley is coming to my school to perform and I get to perform with them so I’m really looking forward to that experience and what I can learn from them. I grew a lot last year and I’m just excited to continue growing. As long as I continue to grow I know I will be happy. A big part of me wants to move to LA and make it in the dance industry, but also a big part of me doesn’t. I feel like when the time is right I will know, and I will listen to my heart – and let it lead me in the right direction.
I mean, I really would love to work for DanceMakers someday. That would be amazing!! There are lots of options. I am just keeping mine open and focusing on one thing at a time for now and how I can be the best version of myself.

Chicago, IL Winners 2014

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Camp Dance Adventure Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name

Junior Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Junior 3rd Runner Up Intrigue Dance Learn Me Right Brennan O’Connell-Miller
Miss Junior 2nd Runner Up Perfection Dance Company Surfs Up Alexis Marasco
Miss Junior 1st Runner Up Universal Language Dance Company Dream Niamh Dillon
Miss Junior High Score Intrigue Dance Shim Sham Chowder Allie Fanning

Pre-Teen Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Pre-Teen 3rd Runner Up Stage Door Dance Academy Wake Me Up Cecilia Johnson
Miss Pre-Teen 2nd Runner Up Perfection Dance Company Wild Horses Layla Porter
Miss Pre-Teen 1st Runner Up Stage Door Daance Academy Blow Ava Barclay
Miss Pre-Teen High Score Allegro Performing Arts Academy The Dance Kristina Doucette
Mr Pre-Teen 1st Runner Up Perfection Dance Company Jackets Yiannis Ekonmou
Mr Pre-Teen High Score Perfection Dance Company Devotion Destin Johnson

Teen Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Teen 3rd Runner Up Stage Door Dance Academy Wishing Well Anastasia Cokinos
Miss Teen 2nd Runner Up/td>

Academy of the Arts El Paseo Kayla Bundy
Miss Teen 1st Runner Up Daryl Jervis Dance Studios Fire and Rain Kaylene Pietryzak
Miss Teen High Score Allegro Performing Arts Academy Landfill Gabby Letourneau
Mr Teen 1st Runner Up Center Stage Dance Academy Toothpaste Kisses Zach Fensler
Mr Teen High Score Allegro Performnig Arts Academy Nothing Ian Barba Burich

Senior Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Senior 3rd Runner Up Stage Door Academy The Dock of the Bay Meghan Murphy
Miss Senior 2nd Runner Up Stage Door Dance Academy Good Morning Heartache Maggie Miller
Miss Senior 1st Runner Up Allegro Perfporming Arts Academy Call Your Girlfriend Marie Spieldenner
Miss Senior High Score Stage Door Dance Academy I Will Wait Alexa Kruchten
Mr Senior 2nd Runner Up Allegro Performing Arts Academy Connor Gormley
Mr Senior 1st Runner Up National Dance Academy Fly Me To The Moon Matthew Standerski
Mr Senior High Score Daryl Jarvis Dance Studios That Girl Alexander Pasker

Camp Dance Adventure Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
CDA Judges Choice Intrigue Dance Lets Get Together
CDA High Score Stage Door Academy Let’er Rip

Junior Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Junior Duo/Trio Best of Category Runner Up Stage Door Dance Academy Bottoms Up
Junior Duo/Trio Best of Category Intrigue Dance Uptown Girls
Junior Duo/Trio Best of Category Runner Up Intrigue Dance Get Happy
Junior Best of Category Group Intrigue Dance Glamorous Life
Junior Best of Category Line Runner Up Daryl Jervis Dance Studios Good Morning
Junior Best of Category Line Intrigue Dance Ill Fly Away
Junior Production Best of Category Stage Door Dance Academy Cruisin’ for a Bruisin
Junior Judges Choice Center Stage Dance Academy So Fabulous, So Fierce
Junior Judges Choice Daryl Jervis Dance Studios One Drop
Junior High Score Stage Door Dance Academy A Little Party

Pre-Teen Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Pre-Teen Duo/Trio Best of Category Runner Up Center Stage Dance Academy Say Something
Pre-Teen Duo/Trio Best of Category Perfection Dance Company The Proposal
Pre-Teen Group Best of Category Runner Up Daryl Jarvis Dance Studios Thats Not My Name
Pre-Teen Group Best of Category Perfection Dance Company Control
Pre-Teen Line Best of Category Runner Up Street of Dreams Swagger Jagger
Pre-Teen Line Best of Category Street of Dreams Stand By Me
Pre-Teen Production Best of Category Runner Up Street of Dreams The Circus
Pre-Teen Production Best of Category Stage Door Dance Academy Wonkafied
Pre-Teen Judges Choice Academy of the Arts Misty Mountains
Pre-Teen Judges Choice Street of Dreams Banji
Pre-Teen High Score Allegro Performing Arts Academy In These Waters

Teen Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Teen Duo/Trio Best of Category Runner Up Daryl Jervis Dance Studios Poppity Pop
Teen Duo/Trio Best of Category SoleUnique Dance Co. Medicine
Teen Group Best of Category Runner Up SoleUnique Dance Co. Latch
Teen Group Best of Category SoleUnique Dance Co. Only You
Teen Line Best of Category Runner Up Street of Dreams Crazy In Love
Teen Line Best of Category SoleUnique Dance Co. Dark Nights
Teen Production Best of Category Runner Up Street of Dreams Best I Ever Had
Teen Production Best of Category National Dance Academy For Your Entertainment
Teen Judges Choice National Dance Academy I Am Adolpho
Teen Judges Choice Universal Language Dance Company Let It Bump
Teen High Score SoleUnique Dance Co. Symbiosis

Senior Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Senior Duo/Trio Best of Category Runner Up Studio Dance Why
Senior Duo/Trio Best of Category SoleUnique Dance Co. Hot Knife
Senior Group Best of Category Runner Up Madonna’s School of Dance Trashin the Camp
Senior Group Best of Category Daryl Jervis Dance Studios Bom Bom
Senior Line Best of Category Runner Up Stage Door Dance Academy Legit
Senior Line Best of Category Stage Door Dance Academy Do My Thing
Senior Best of Category Production Stage Door Dance Academy Technologic
Senior Judges Choice TEMPO Academia de Danza Feeling Hot
Senior Judges Choice Fay Fleeson Dance Centre Inc No Day But Today
Senior High Score Stage Door Dance Academy Tigerlily

Overall High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Entertainment Award Allegro Performing Arts Academy Unreal Love
Overall High Score Stage Door Dance Academy Ooh Child

Charlotte Thank You

“Thanks so much for your time. This was our first time at DanceMakers and we loved it! Our studio usually goes to a different convention and our director wanted to try a different one so just a few girls came this last weekend to try it out. Hands down, it was everyone’s fave. You guy run a top notch program and the teachers are excellent. They taught more to the kids than just choreography. Every staff member we came into contact with was so approachable and friendly. Kudos to you all. I just thought you might like to know a newbie’s opinion.”

Thanks again,
Holli Chastain

Irvine, CA Winners 2014


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Camp Dance Adventure Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss CDA High Score The Dance Factor Get Your Sparkle On Ava Bartello

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Junior Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Junior 3rd Runner Up Murrieta Dance Project Enter One Jaida Skidmore
Miss Junior 2nd Runner Up The Dance Factor See the Light Sadie Gooding
Miss Junior 1st Runner Up Murrieta Dance Project Do You Love Me Kennedy Barry
Miss Junior High Score Murrieta Dance Project Ave Maria Kendall Lee
Mr Junior High Score The Dance Factor Mr. Vegas Easton Magliarditi

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Pre-Teen Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Pre-Teen 3rd Runner Up Murrieta Dance Project Gorgeous Caylie Almada
Miss Pre-Teen 2nd Runner Up Elevation Studios What the Water Gave Me Aleialanee Ponce de Leon
Miss Pre-Teen 1st Runner Up Murrieta Dance Project Neverland Talia Seitel
Miss Pre-Teen High Score The Dance Factor Dark Hallway Lucy Vallely
Mr Pre-Teen High Score The Dance Factor A Drop in the Ocean Chandler Wright Hill

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Teen Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Teen 3rd Runner Up Elevation Studios Torn Alexandra Moya
Miss Teen 2nd Runner Up/td>

Elevation Studios Moving the Line Hope Golida
Miss Teen 1st Runner Up The Dance Floor Cannon Lexi Lee
Miss Teen High Score Retters Academy of Dance Pocketful of Poetry Shayne Townsend
Mr Teen 1st Runner Up Clifton Dance Project The Pretender Bishop Malone
Mr Teen High Score Clifton Dance Project Love Me Again Shea Durazzo

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Senior Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Senior 3rd Runner Up Clifton Dance Project Shuck Baylie Andreasan
Miss Senior 2nd Runner Up Murrieta Dance Project Settle Samantha Hurst
Miss Senior 1st Runner Up Retter’s Academy of Dance Silence Alley Kerr
Miss Senior High Score Murrieta Dance Project Goodbye Chryssa Hadjis
Mr Senior High Score Clifton Dance Project Touched Kyle Schrader

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Camp Dance Adventure Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
CDA Best of Category Duo/Trio Elevation Studios California Girls
CDA Best of Category Group The Dance Factor Party Rockers
CDA Judges Choice The Dance Factor Bad Girls
CDA High Score Elevation Studios Funky Town

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Junior Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Junior Duo/Trio Best of Category The Dance Factor Ooh La la
Junior Group Best of Category The Dance Factor Listen to Your Heart
Junior Line Best of Category Retter’s Academy of Dance Dreaming
Junior Production Best of Category Retter’s Academy of Dance Concerto in B Funk
Junior Judges Choice Elevation Studios Wipeout
Junior High Score The Dance Factor Chi C’est la vie

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Pre-Teen Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Pre-Teen Duo/Trio Best of Category Elevation Studios Young and Beautiful
Pre-Teen Group Best of Category The Dance Factor People
Pre-Teen Line Best of Category Elevation Studios Control
Pre-Teen Production Best of Category Elevation Studios Up
Pre-Teen Judges Choice Retter’s Academy of Dance Your Song
Pre-Teen High Score Elevation Studios Hangin On

Teen Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Teen Duo/Trio Best of Category Clifton Dance Project Summertime Sadness
Teen Group Best of Category Elevation Studio’s Fallen Trees
Teen Line Best of Category Clifton Dance Project Angularity
Teen Production Best of Category Retter’s Academy of Dance When She Went Away
Teen Judges Choice Step By Step Why Stop Now
Teen High Score Retters Academy of Dance Social Media -cation

Senior Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Senior Duo/Trio Best of Category Extensions Performing Arts Academy Stars
Senior Group Best of Category Step By Step Wish You Were Here
Senior Line Best of Category Retter’s Academy of Dance The Space Between
Senior Best of Category Production Extensions Performing Arts Academy Gatsby
Senior Judges Choice Extensions Performing Arts Academy Nothing But the Water
Senior Judges Choice Clifton Dance Project Up
Senior High Score Clifton Dance Project Limit to Your Love

Overall High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Entertainment Award Elevation Studios Day-O
Overall High Score Retter’s Academy of Dance This Will Be Our Year

Richmond, VA Winners 2014


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Camp Dance Adventure Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss CDA 3rdd Runner Up Ann Catherine Cross School of Dance Born to Entertain Logan Hughes
Miss CDA 2nd Runner Up Ann Catherine Cross School of Dance I See the Light Kylee Smith
Miss CDA 1st Runner Up Valley Dance Theatre Go Sara Sulesky
Miss CDA High Score Valley Dance Theatre Find Yourself Ava Wease

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Junior Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Junior 3rd Runner Up Artistry Dance Center Live It Up Layla Giardina
Miss Junior 2nd Runner Up The Dance Company Glam Josabella Morton
Miss Junior 1st Runner Up J’adore DANCE Angel on Fire Lauren Vaughn
Miss Junior High Score J’adore DANCE Skeletons Liv Klingler
Mr Junior High Score Elower-Sicilia Productions Buzzin’ Michael Wilson

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Pre-Teen Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Pre-Teen 3rd Runner Up Elower-Sicilia Productions Safe and Sound Emily Mitchener
Miss Pre-Teen 2nd Runner Up Valley Dance Theatre Funk Sophie Sulesky
Miss Pre-Teen 1st Runner Up J’adore DANCE The Starfish Frances Clendenon
Miss Pre-Teen High Score Elower-Sicilia Productions Wherever You Can Lucy Estep
Mr Pre-Teen High Score Elower-Sicilia Productions Lion’s Roar Jack Estep

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Teen Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Teen 3rd Runner Up Danceland II School of Dance Dream Out Loud Alicia Marcondes
Miss Teen 2nd Runner Up/td>

J’adore DANCE OComeOCome Morgan Davis
Miss Teen 1st Runner Up Danceland II School of Dance Dreamer Emily Bischof
Miss Teen High Score Danceland II School of Dance When Its All In Pieces Angela Shipley
Mr Teen 2nd Runner Up/td>

Fierce Dance Academy Go To Work Nikolas Mulrine
Mr Teen 1st Runner Up Divine Dance Center What Weighs Me Down Canyon Carroll
Mr Teen High Score J’adore DANCE Beautiful Stephen Myers

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Senior Solo High Scores

Place Studio Routine Recipient Name
Miss Senior 3rd Runner Up Danceland II School of Dance Tragedy Jackie Sanchez
Miss Senior 2nd Runner Up J’adore DANCE Island Laurie Beth Baker
Miss Senior 1st Runner Up J’adore DANCE Light Gabrielle Hundley
Miss Senior High Score Ann Catherine Cross School of Dance Near Light Megan Siepka
Mr Senior High Score Divine Dance Center How It Ends Joey d’Alelio

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Camp Dance Adventure Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
CDA Best of Category Group For A Dancer, Inc. Supermodel
CDA Judges Choice Ann Catherine Cross School of Dance Happiness
CDA High Score Valley Dance Theatre Gift of a Friend

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Junior Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Junior Duo/Trio Best of Category Elower-Sicilia Productions Can’t Buy Me Love
Junior Group Best of Category Artistry Dance Center Play It Again
Junior Line Best of Category Valley Dance Theatre Don’t Stop the Party
Junior Production Best of Category “Feet of Fire!” Dance Academy Baila
Junior Judges Choice Valley Dance Theatre Bridge of Light
Junior High Score J’adore DANCE Its Time to Cha-Cha

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Pre-Teen Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Pre-Teen Duo/Trio Best of Category Danceland II School of Dance Remember Me This Way
Pre-Teen Group Best of Category Valley Dance Theatre Just Dance
Pre-Teen Line Best of Category Elower-Sicilia Productions throwback
Pre-Teen Production Best of Category Valley Dance Theatre Joyful Noise
Pre-Teen Judges Choice Genia Johnson Dance Company Dance For Me In Heaven, Rusty
Pre-Teen High Score “Feet of Fire!” Dance Academy Rockin Robin

Teen Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Teen Duo/Trio Best of Category Elower-Sicilia Productions Come Together
Teen Group Best of Category Elower-Sicilia Productions Shuck
Teen Line Best of Category J’adore DANCE Diamonds
Teen Production Best of Category Divine Dance Center Work Me Down
Teen Judges Choice J’adore DANCE Stadily Backwards
Teen High Score Elower-Sicilia Productions Neverland

Senior Group High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Senior Duo/Trio Best of Category Marianne Kelley’s School of Dance Holy Grail
Senior Group Best of Category Divine Dance Center To Build a Home
Senior Line Best of Category Divine Dance Center People Help the People
Senior Judges Choice School of Dance Arts A Long Way Down
Senior High Score Valley Dance Theatre Society

Overall High Scores

Place Studio Routine
Entertainment Award Danceland II School of Dance I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Overall High Score J’adore DANCE School Crush

What Lisa Wisniewski has to say…

I just wanted to take a moment and thank you ALL for what you do. My daughter Leigha McDaniel started attending your convention in the teen room with her Studio through Sonja Retter Krick and even after her studio closed we have continued to attend your convention as independents and will do so again this year in Dearborn. This past weekend we continued on our “convention circuit” and attended a convention for the first time and we were quickly reminded just how lucky we are when we come to Dance Makers! Although my daughter walked away from this “other” convention with a new experience, additional training and even took class from some amazing choreographers she did not walk away feeling inspired…..the atmosphere just wasn’t like DMI. The majority of the classes were 45 minutes which did not allow the instructors to really connect with the dancers and at the same time there wasn’t even time for the dancers to personally thank their instructor for their time. The instructors walked in the room and they all seemed so rushed for time that they didn’t even say hello they just began the choreo and then class is done and the next teacher comes in. DMI always finds a way for these things and for that I am forever grateful. All weekend we kept comparing DMI to the convention we were at and by Sunday we realized they just aren’t you…it was even apparent that the students lacked respect as in the senior room their was constant chattering of dancers on the sides who chose not to take class and even during tap class the students from one studio stood in a group of 8 on the dance floor space holding their own conversations (backs to the stage) and never once taking class. What was the most disappointing about this was there were audition finalists in this group and they are required to take all classes so they must show up for attendance….which they did but they didn’t take class and in the end, two of them received the highest scholarship. Very disappointing to me that the choreographer allowed this behavior in class as it disrupted the other dancers opportunity for learning.

Not only do you guys get awesome room rates (so far the best I have yet to pay) and have a great perk of the observer badge with a paid room. DMI offers so much more that I am finding most conventions are just not able come close to your standards. Your staff is top notch in every way and every class is inspiring and personal from the beginning to the end! Not only does my daughter leave your conventions inspired and wanting more, I also find inspiration from your instructors. I think if every parent listened once to Kathryn or Seth during a class they would know and realize just how lucky and blessed their child is to be taking class and sharing a room with such amazing young people!

I had to send this email because I came home wanting to immediately send an email of disappointment to the other convention but everyone always writes complaint emails or letters of disappointment. Instead I thought it is not often that people take the time to thank the ones that do things right and just “get it”, it was then that I decided to use my time and energy and send DMI a positive email and let you know that you are appreciated and keep doing great things!

Thanks again for all that you do and all that you have given my daughter…

See ya in Dearborn!!

Lisa Wisniewski

WIN our NEW t-shirt!

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Be the FIRST to get our new shirt! Send us a tweet @dancemakersinc and tell us what makes you different with the hashtag “#whatmakesyoudifferent” and we will choose a lucky winner to be the first to get our new T-shirt!

What Kayla Randall has to say…

“Throughout high school I was always very outgoing and open to meeting new people. Being from a small town I feel as though I’m more trusting than others but it doesn’t always end up benefitting me. I learned the hard way my junior year and I ended up hitting a very low point and what I felt was a dead end. My senior year brought a new tale though, a light at the end of the tunnel.
I’m a competitive dancer and I have been my entire life, this past January I went to a competition that would not only change my weekend but turn my whole life around. Dance Makers Inc. is a dance competition that is also a convention. In other words, all weekend long you take master classes from professional teachers and compete your studio dances at night; a long weekend full of energy, sore legs and bright lipstick. I’ve danced the entirety of my life but never thought I was anything above mediocre. A new teacher was on staff this year and I immediately felt a connection, like he was speaking directly to me the entire weekend. His name is Seth Zibalese. 
 The first night of the weekend, Friday, was an optional night class that was supposed to be taught by Kathryn McCormick! Kathryn ended up not being able to make it that night, so we had a new teacher come in, Seth. The class was amazing and to my surprise I actually did very well. After the class was over, just like any other, I went up and personally thanked Seth for such an amazing class. We then took a picture and I continued on with my weekend. The classes were amazing, like expected, but Seth stood out more than the others. The way he taught, the way he spoke and what he spoke about, it moved me in such a way I was brought to tears multiple times. It felt so real, like I was in the right place, like I was being accepted for the first time. On the third and final day at the end of classes there was a wrap up ceremony where all the teachers perform and scholarships are given out; exhausted, I ended up skipping it and just took off for home. Twenty minutes into my drive I received the best phone call of my entire life.. SETH chose ME for a full ride scholarship to the DMI National Convention in MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA! Out of every girl there, all the talent, he chose me! My life has been forever changed since.
I was not only crying because of how happy I was but also because I wouldn’t be able to personally thank him for such an opportunity. I ended up being contacted by him via twitter and he explained why he gave it to me and I told him how thankful I was. Seth has taught me how to love, how to live my life, how to love dancing again, my purpose, how to accept and cherish everything; especially my family. Seth has made me feel like I’m important again. He reached out to me because he saw something special in me, potential to be great, and it has honestly changed my entire life. I now live full out in everything I do, I make sure the moments count and I always create memories, I wake up every day with a smile and accept whatever is thrown at me, I laugh and sometimes I cry. I’m not entirely sure if he really knows how much he’s changed things for me, but I’m very grateful to him for opening my eyes to this roller coaster we call life. Seth will forever be a mentor when I’m lost and a friend when I need it.
When I thought I hit rock bottom I found a light at the end of the tunnel. This past year has been a 360 for me, but a great one! If anyone were to ask me who was my biggest influence in life I would most definitely say out of everyone I’ve met; Seth Zibalese is the guy. I’m so thankful for him being in my life and I’m so ready for what’s to come, all thanks to him.”

Thank You from Phil and Cindy Arnold

Cassidy and the rest of the girls at Premiere Dance Studio in Va are getting ready for Myrtle Beach next month and are actually starting to ask about next years schedule, so your timing was great. I’m sorry you have been going through the problems with your web site, as you clearly have the best one out there. I’ve had to learn more about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., than I ever wanted to, but I guess you really can teach an old dog new tricks. I’ve got a tremendous respect for your entire staff. Felicia, Doug, Tommy, Kathryn, Darryl, Brad, Seth, Dejan, Brooke, Kyle, Keith, Janice, Gina, and anyone I forgot, are the most visible, but everyone at DMI has made us feel like part of your family. Experience as a ‘role model’ is clearly part of the criteria during your hiring process. This year and next year are critical as our granddaughter, Cassidy Bastiaensen, continues to mature from a great kid to a wonderful young lady. Don’t ever underestimate the importance of the quality service you provide in helping thousands of kids with that transition.
We enjoyed the six DMI weekends we attended this year and look forward to the same next season.
Thank you again,
Phil & Cindy Arnold

Check out what Jessica Hunter has to say about DanceMakers

Even though the contest is over (and we did not enter b/c we cannot swing Myrtle Beach this year), we still wanted to let you know what DMI means to us…FAMILY. We owe so much to Felicia and Brad, Doug, Remi, and many more. Kaia began competing when she was five. In fact, DMI was her first workshop and convention, and immediately, she declared it her “fav.” Since then, no convention and competition has even compared.

No other competition truly allows her to be (and encourages her to be) funky and free…to dance what is in her heart first and her head second. To have FUN because it is the initial reason she began dancing. To get outside her warm, cozy box (or studio) and meet new people b/c she will be dancing with them for years to come. To dance smarter–to always push harder b/c someone is always better, so use that as positive motivation to grow. To feel. Feel the emotion. Feel the music. Feel the love. Feel the dance. DMI has taught her to dance as if everyone is watching. And if that is not enough, the faculty surely is–Brad, Seth, Brooke, Gina, Darryl, Thomas, Keith, Janice, Kyle, Kathryn, Becca, and many more. Just when the faculty seems complete, another extraordinary member comes aboard.

DMI gives back, more than any other competition–honors, awards, scholarships, contests, respect, knowledge. Since first competing, Kaia has been honored many times at Regionals. But, the bigger honor has been dancing with and learning from “the best,” according to her. Thank you. Besides, I am pretty sure Kaia is Felicia and Bradley Taylor’s long lost child–she looks more like them than her mom and dad, and she dances better than us too. Just ask Emily. I am so glad that StageOne DanceAcademy chooses DMI year after year. It is our favorite competition by far. Kaia enjoys the workshops, and I enjoy observing them. As a parent, there is no better feeling than seeing your child growing before your eyes. Thanks.

-Jessica Jones Hunter

Washington DC + Chicago, IL Faculty Announced

We are so excited to announce a full faculty attending Washington DC and Chicago! The full list of faculty members will include:
Kyle Robinson – Contemporary
Kathryn McCormick – Contemporary
Dejan Tubic – Hip Hop
Brooke Paulsen Zelus – Tap
Seth Zibalese – Contemporary
Brad Taylor – Hip Hop
Keith Clifton – Ballet, Musical Theatre
Gina Badone – Lyrical Jazz, Children’s Work
Tom Alexander – Jazz, Lyrical
Darryl Retter – Swing, Lyrical
Janice Barringer – Ballet
Joan Lather – Children’s Work
Becca Retter – Children’s Work

What Sierra Boepple has to say about us

“best way to put it….. family. such a beautiful weekend. DMI is really doing special things that no other convention can touch. the dancers know it, the parents know it, and the studio owners know it. love ya’ll!”
Thank you for your kind words Sierra!

Thank You from Pittsburgh

“Thank you so much for an amazing weekend in Pittsburgh!!!! It was run to perfection and I am beyond pleased with that!!! I really enjoyed all of the instructors this year and thought they really made a point to teach so much more than just dance!!! That is a great gift!! We love DMI and can’t thank you enough for the positivity you bring with your competition!!! Best of luck in the remainder of your tour!!!”

-Kristina Albright

News on Alyssa Guerrieri

We are so proud of our National SoloStarMaker, Alyssa Guerrieri! She has been accepted into Loyola and Chapman colleges here in Southern California! We feel blessed to have witnessed Alyssa grow before our eyes as a dancer and young woman. She is an inspiration for all young female dancers and has proven that hard work is rewarded. We can’t wait to see where she chooses to attend and follow her along her new journey! Congrats Alyssa!

Thank You from Nashville

We are still on a high from Nashville’s Convention/Competition. The kind words we hear after an event keep us going and make us want to do even more to make you all happy. We were blessed to receive this touching email from Laura Carroll of Ann Carroll School of Dance. We wanted to share it with you and thank all of you for what you do at your studios. You make it possible for us to be here.
“I wanted to send my thanks for an amazing weekend in Nashville. The energy at the studio was overwhelming this week and I am pretty sure that it was a result of the inspiration the dancers received from the amazing DMI instructors! Every detail of the weekend was wonderful. You provide a stress free environment for teachers and parents alike. All of our needs are taken care of and then you provide coffee on top of that! Your competition is the best run competition out there and the quality of your photos and videos is outstanding and unmatched. My dance parents were thrilled with everything but mostly that their children were taught in a safe and inspiring atmosphere. They left feeling so good about themselves and the other dancers they watched at competition and danced with in class… I rarely find the customer service that you provide and your level of professionalism makes a very positive statement about the whole company. So once again thank you for the beautiful work you all do. We can’t wait until next year!”

Nashville, TN

Where do we start? This past weekend in Nashville, TN was incredible. From the WarmUp to the WrapIt Ceremony, this city was replete with energy! We started the weekend out with a Thursday night meeting with our tech crew to make sure we offer you the very best in multimedia, including sound, lighting, photo and video. Friday morning started bright and early with a 6am load-in consisting of building our state of the art staging for competition. Solo Competition started at 6:30 and was amazing right out of the gate. We knew it was going to be a good weekend by the energy these dancers delivered. Saturday morning at 7am the party started! Our pre-warmup dance party was off the hook. DJ Remidee kicked off the weekend with his banging remixes while Seth and Brad led the kids in a full out dance jam. We filled the stage with dancers and ended the party with what else? Gangnam Style! Nashville had the perfect mix of core faculty and guest artists. Bringing on Gregg Russell, Seth Zibalese and SYTYCD/Step Up Revolution’s Kathryn McCormick brought the perfect balance to an already amazing faculty. Classes were filled with talent and our teachers brought their A game. Kids were rolling on the ground laughing at Gregg and Keith and tears were spotted in a moving and motivational Kathryn McCormick Teen Contemporary class. During our autograph session the red carpet filled with excited dancers waiting to get autographs and pictures of their favorite teachers. Kathryn might have had the craziest fans though. Could it have been her lead role in the new Step Up Revolution movie? We think it might have got the kids just a little excited to say the least. Brad Taylor brought in Remidee as a special guest in his Teen Hip Hop class and announced that they were hand picking dancers to perform with Remidee while he debuted his new single, “My Feelings” at the Sunday Awards Ceremony. Nine talented dancers were picked to perform. Brad and Seth rehearsed them after Group Competition on Saturday night. This shows the dedication of our students. After a 15 hour day of dancing they were still ready to leave it all on the dance floor. After classes on Sunday it was time for our OverAll Awards Ceremony! Students and parents filled the Show Room anxiously awaiting the results of Competition and Classroom Scholarships. Dancers cheered and screamed and smiled and cried when they received their trophies. They have put in endless hours at their studios preparing for this. But it’s not just about a trophy. It’s about the love for their craft. The feeling of being on stage. The bright lights. It’s being surrounded by people who “get” them. It’s about the classes that push them to become better dancers. The personal growth they encounter over the weekend. It’s about the new family they have made at DanceMakers. It’s seeing Gregg Russell perform on stage and seeing what they can become if they put in the work. It’s getting to perform on stage with a recording artist. It’s about the overall experience that a weekend at DanceMakers brings. It’s showing up to school on Monday with fake eyelashes stuck to your cheek, a leftover bun, and enough glitter to make every school project for the rest of your life. It’s the life of a dancer and we wouldn’t change it for the world!

NEW THIS YEAR!

New this year at DanceMakers enter your name in our Free Stuff Computer for something more than a tangible prize. Get the chance to be our very own Face of DMI for the weekend. This includes a special red carpet interview with Resident DJ & Recording Artist REMIDEE and a featured spot on our Website, Twitter and Facebook the following week. Enter in your city for your chance to WIN!

DanceMakersInc Dance Convention & Competition

Hotel Updates for Indianapolis and Pittsburgh

Indianapolis Convention:
Because the Indianapolis Marriott is SOLD OUT, we have an additional block of rooms at the Courtyard Marriott. The Convention will be held at the Convention Center across the street and there is an over-head covered skywalk. Reservations made in the DanceMakers Room Block at either the Indianapolis Marriott or the Courtyard Marriott qualify for the Free Observer Wristband! Rooms are going fast so be sure to register early!
Book your room!

Pittsburgh Convention:
Because the Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh is SOLD OUT, we have an additional block of rooms at the Crowne Plaza Pittsburgh International Airport. The Convention will be held at the Hyatt Regency. Reservations made in the DanceMakers room block at either the Hyatt Regency or the Crowne Plaza qualify for the Free Observer Wristband and discounted parking. There will also be shuttle service available between the two hotels. Register Now!
Book your room!

Seth Zibalese will be at the Mobile, AL Convention

We are ecstatic to have Seth Zibalese joining us in Mobile, AL Nov 9-11! He is the perfect addition to our DanceMakers family and we know you will all love him!

Though Seth has just entered into his early twenties, he’s already a pro, working in the entertainment industry since age 7. He booked his first tour with Bear in the Big Blue House LIVE when he was 11 years old. Ever since then, he knew dancing and sharing his love for performing was his passion. Seth has worked as a dancer with some of LA’s top choreographers such as Brian Friedman, Dave Scott, Shane Sparks, Sonya Tayeh, Matt Tseng, Joelle Martinec, Sabrina Phillip and many others. Seth has appeared on Americas Got Talent, So You Think You Can Dance, shows on Disney XD, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon and T.V. spots. He was a member of the athletic Diavolo Dance Theatre, and also just became a member of Solevita Dance Company. You can see Seth’s own contemporary choreography in LACDC, The Choreo Show, and Jete’.Seth is an actor as well. In 2004 he won an Ovation Award for La Boheme Ensemble. In 2004 he was recognized with the Young Artist of the Year Award in the city of Simi Valley, where he grew up. Seth received his black belt in martial arts and weapons training, and is also an expert in gymnastics. He is now teaching at Edge Performing Arts Center, August West Dance Studio and traveling around the world doing what he loves as a choreographer/instructor. He can’t wait to see what is in store next.

Nationals 2012 Video

The 2011-12 Nationals video is uploading now. Check back soon to see all of your beautiful faces. We had a blast with you guys and can’t wait to see you all very soon on the Leave It On The Dance Floor Tour 2012-13. Sorry it has taken so long to post, but as you can see we have had our hands full with a brand new site and look for next year. We hope you enjoy everything that we are working on and it makes it even easier to stay up to date with what’s going on in our world. Love you all!

NEW AND IMPROVED SITE!

[H]ello dance family! We are excited to introduce our new website to you. We have aimed to make your lives easier by an easily navigated site. We will be updating the site very frequently with new videos, pictures, winners, announcements, etc. Thanks for your support of DanceMakers and most importantly your love and passion for DANCE! Enjoy…