Members of Dance Studio 111 in Ahwatukee Foothills came away with several awards at a dance competition in July that featured groups from Australia, Canada and Mexico.

The Showstoppers National Dance Competition was hosted at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, Calif. July 19 to 24. Thousands of dancers took to the stage and performed in groups, solo, duos and trios.

Dance Studio 111 took two groups: The Mini Company Group, which garnered second, third and fourth place overall, and the Junior Competition Group, for a total of 22 dancers.

Liliana Frey won first overall for Recreational soloist performance, Aly Nash won first overall for Competitive soloist and Aly Nash and Isabella Gregg won first overall for their duet performance.

"They must have grace, confidence and the ability to go up in front of hundreds of people to perform to reach that goal of winning," said Kimberly Lewis, owner of Dance Studio 111. "We did very well but the friendship and bonding is also important. It's a positive and family atmosphere."

Lewis praised the dedication the dancers have to competitive dance. Often times they cannot try out for other after-school activities or sports because they are committed to dancing, and most want it that way.

"You have to put time and hours and dedication into it to have a winning team," Lewis said. "It's what they love to do and it is their choice. Dance has become the No. 1 competitive sport in the country. It truly has become a sport."

Dance Studio 111, 4910 E. Chandler Blvd., will be hosting an information session for interested parents at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18. They will also be hosting auditions for the 2011-12 season on Aug. 20 starting at 9 a.m.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

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