Courtesy of the Lake Forest Dance Academy
The Lake Forest Dance Academy (LFDA) performance companies swept the recent Chicago National Association of Dance Masters competition, with each receiving a Platinum Award, the highest honor given, in its category. Held on November 3-4 in Oakbrook, Illinois, the competition featured 20 entrants from dance studios throughout the region. The Academy’s winning performance companies included:
Prelude Dance Theatre – Senior, for their Senior Lyrical Group dance, Can't Stay Here, which also won the Best Overall High Score Award for the Senior Division. This dance was choreographed by LFDA Company Director Valerie Gonzalez and performed by Sarah Allen, Grace Duffy, Susanne Fluri, Claire Franksen, Aimee Ihlenfeld, Cassidy Lenstrom, Mandy McDonald and Katie Sorenson.
Prelude Dance Theatre – Intermediate, for their Intermediate Jazz Group entry, Do Your Thing, which was choreographed by Valerie Gonzalez and performed by Kaitlyn Collins, Deanne Hoaglund, Clara Finley, Elise Gerskovich and Kathryn Lotharius.
Prelude Dance Theatre – Junior, for their Junior Lyrical Group dance, The Show, which was choreographed by Valerie Gonzalez and performed by Lexie Conley, Ava Caputo, Olivia Douglass, Bridget Eckland, Cailey Hiam and Stephanie Raupp.
Euphony Tap Ensemble for their Intermediate Tap Group number, New Shoes, choreographed by the company's Director Jenna Jozefowski and performed by Juliette Doree, Clara Finley, Grace Hart and Andrew Trandai.
Hip Hop Evolution for their Intermediate Hip Hop Trio dance, Pass That, choreographed by the company's Director Richard Ashworth and performed by Annalise Craig, Elise Gerskovich and Deanne Hoaglund.
Starting December 8, the Dance Academy's performance companies will be converting their platinum performance skills into some glistening holiday merry for their annual Holiday Performance Tour of local nursing homes, Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier and other events. The tour will culminate with the Extrava-Dance-A at the Lake Forest Recreation Center on Saturday, December 15 at 4 pm. The event will include the Senior Prelude Dance Theatre's annual Rockette-style kick-line, along with traditional and cutting-edge interpretations of holiday songs. The event fee is $5; the day includes a Gingerbread House Raffle and Bake Sale.
Founded in 1974, the Lake Forest Dance Academy is the oldest established dance studio in Lake Forest, IL. Under the guidance of highly regarded dance leaders, including Academy Director Sandy Ragsdale and Company Director Valerie Gonzalez, LFDA offers a comprehensive dance education that includes programs for all ages in ballet, jazz, tap, modern and hip-hop. The Academy recently became an official chapter of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts, and is the only studio in the area to hold this prestigious designation. LFDA also has performance companies that regularly win national and regional awards, conduct fund-raising efforts and perform throughout the community.