Lake Forest Dance Academy Reaps Competition Awards

Twelve-year-old chosen first runner-up for the title of Pre-Teen StarMaker Chicago.


The members recently received high marks from both the VIP and DanceMakers regional dance competitions.

Nine soloists who attended the VIP Dance Competition received Gold or High Gold Awards for their performances with four dancers placing in the top eight regionally. The competition was held in March at the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin.

  • Graduating senior Kaitlyn Anson received the highest overall score in her division for the senior lyrical solo, “Storm” (choreographer, Kim Fletcher-Stibal)
  • Elli Sweet received the fifth overall highest score in her division for the junior jazz solo, “Y’all Got It” (choreographer, Fletcher-Stibal)
  • Katie Sorensen received the sixth overall highest score in her division for the senior contemporary solo “Frost” (choreographer, Valerie Gonzalez)
  • Cassidy Lenstrom received the eighth overall highest score in her division for the teen jazz solo, “Dog Days Are Over” (choreographer, Fletcher-Stibal)

The Academy's Euphony Tap Ensemble, Hip Hop Evolution, and Prelude Dance Theatre performed 32 dances at the DanceMakers Inc. competition last month in Schaumburg. Overall, they captured nine first places and 12 second places out of the 297 overall competition entries from a combination of solos, trios and group performances.

The Academy was commended for artistry and praised for unique choreography. The Performance Companies train under the direction of noted choreographers: Rich Ashworth, Heather Goodrich Kiely, Jenna Jozefowski, Stephanie Paul, Fletcher- Stibal, and Gonzalez.

  • Euphony Tap Ensemble Senior was awarded Judges Choice for their tap piece, “Muito Incrementado” (guest choreographer, Julie Cartier)
  • Emilia Field, 12, was chosen as the first runner-up out of 22 soloists in her age category for the title of Pre-Teen StarMaker Chicago for her solo “Hide and Seek” (choreographer, Fletcher-Stibal) 

The dance academy's next set of auditions will be held May 17-19 at the academy, 400 Hastings Road. For information, contact Gonzalez at (847) 810-3944.

Founded in 1974, the Lake Forest Dance Academy is the oldest established dance studio in Lake Forest. For more information, contact Sandy Ragsdale at (847) 810-3948.

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