Young choreographers wanted: Contest lets dancers showcase creative side - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Young choreographers wanted: Contest lets dancers showcase creative side

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Posted: Friday, November 29, 2013 4:45 am | Updated: 9:38 am, Tue Feb 11, 2014.

Talented young dancers have a chance to show off their creativity and compete to be awarded the best choreographer in the second Next Generation of Fine Arts Competition.

All entries for the competition must be filmed, put on YouTube, and submitted to contest organizers by Sunday, Dec. 1.

The contest was started by Kimberly Lewis, owner of Dance Studio 111.

“I had all these students always calling me asking to use the studio to make up a dance,” Lewis said. “Of course I always allowed them to use the studio because I encourage dancers to be creative and I watched them coming in. They cut their own music, they have a concept and they choreograph and make up their own dances. I thought, you know what, these are the next generations of talented choreographers.”

Lewis decided to create a competition where these young choreographers could submit their dances and compete for cash prizes and scholarships to her dance studio.

Last year was the first year Lewis hosted the competition and she said there were more than 35 initial entries.

Choreographers, ages 11 to 19, must include a minimum of four dancers in their dance. They must cut their own music, create their own routine and submit their video to nextgenerationoffinearts@gmail.com. Videos will be placed on the Next Generation of Fine Arts Facebook page and entries must get 175 likes on their video to go on to the live show, which will be on Saturday, Feb. 1.

Marcea Lane will be returning this year to judge the competition. Lane is the owner of Marcea the Ultimate Dance Base and a former dancer for Michael Jackson. Last year, Lane judged the contest with other notable dancers and selected a handful of dancers from the competition to fly to Los Angeles and take part in a photo session.

The first price for the best choreographed piece will be $1,000, plus a nine-month scholarship to Dance Studio 111. Second place will earn $500 and a six-month scholarship. Third place will win $250 and a three-month scholarship.

“What I like about it and what I’ve seen is on top of their busy schedules — they have school and after-school activities whether it be dance or voice or music or sports — they still take time to contact a group of their fellow dancers, coordinate rehearsal times, cut their music, come up with a concept, teach it to them, rehearse it, and enter it into this competition,” Lewis said. “These young dancers have such a creative side. They are our future… It’s such a positive event for these young dance choreographers.”

Lewis said eventually she’d like to expand the competition to include young musicians and singers.

It’s free to enter the competition, but it is limited to ages 11 to 19.

For more information on the contest, email nextgenerationoffinearts@gmail.com or search Next Generation of Fine Arts on Facebook.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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