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Dance academy successful at Duluth contest

Rapids dancers from Northern Lights Dance Academy performed well in their first Midwest Starz Dance Competition. (Submitted photo)

The Northern Lights Dance Academy competed at the Midwest Starz Dance Competition March 21-22 in Duluth.

Instructors Kendal Ware, Kiala Velde and Katie Winter entered 27 competition pieces, including four from NLDA Park Rapids.

Fourteen dance studios participated and a total of 230 routines competed.

The Park Rapids NLDA dancers, new to competition this year, competed at the Rising Starz level.

All routines are judged on a point system based upon the total scores of the three judges. Each act receives, from lowest to highest rankings: Silver, Gold, High Gold or Platinum.

The junior performance lyrical dance included Macy Goochey, Jaime Brann, Abby Kirlin, Athina Hjermstad and Kiley Lindow. They danced to “Fields of Gold” and received a High Gold and 2nd place in their catagory.

Also, each judge gives two special recognition awards daily for routines that they felt deserved some additional acknowledgement. The Park Rapids junior lyrical dance routine received the “Golden Moment Award.”

Emma Ellefson, Anna Miller, Emma Miller and Cascade Oppitz performed a lyrical dance to “Purple Rain” as part of the senior performance team. They received a High Gold and placed 2nd in their category.

The junior and senior groups combined to perform “Footloose,” where they received the highest points award of Platinum, placed 2nd in the Jazz category, and 3rd place overall in their age category.

Emma Ellefson, daughter of Jack and Anne Ellefson, performed a solo called “The Chain.” She received High Gold, 3rd place in the solo lyrical category and 4th place overall for her age catagory.

The NLDA dance dads also got into the action by going on stage for a “Dad Dance-Off.” Chris Oppitz placed first and Jack Ellefson placed 2nd, both winning a shirt from Midwest Starz for their participation in the fun.