A North Bergen dance studio may be going to a national competition thanks to the big scores they earned at a competition held in Atlantic City earlier this month.
“It was a lot of fun winning,” said Elyssa Cueto, 10, of North Bergen. “It was exciting to show my stuff.”
J&L Dance Studio competed at Access Broadway on March 4, 5, and 6, a talent competition and convention that features dance, acting and voice.
They came home with 23 platinum, 26 high gold, 19 gold, 20 first place, six second place, and five third place awards for their dance numbers. They also received best production for ages 12 and under for a hip hop performance and best production for ages 13 and over for a flamenco piece.
“It felt good, like I accomplished my goal.” – Idaliz Cristian
Both of them received the best director award for studio performance the overall competition.
“I think they definitely deserve it,” said Idaliz Cristian, 11, of North Bergen.
Due to them scoring a 95 and above on so many performances, the school may elect to attend one of the national competitions held in Las Vegas, Nev. or Hershey Park, Pa.
Garcia said that they were going to survey parents to find out their interest, seek donations from community businesses, and fundraise.
Students proud of big win
Sarah Botero, 13, of North Bergen placed first in solo and was a platinum award winner.
Cueto was one of the students who won in the ages 12 and under best production award. She said she knew her school was going to win.
Cristian was a part of the same group. “It felt good, like I accomplished my goal,” she said.
Jaele Garcia, 11, of West New York, agreed. “It was special,” she said. “It’s only my second year at this dance school and it felt good to win.”
Emily Ortega, 11, of North Bergen said she was shocked when she looked up at the jumbotron and it announced their win.
For the love of dance
“I like jazz because I can do a lot of extensions and Flamenco I like because I can stomp my feet on the floor,” said Cueto, who has been dancing for seven years.
Ortega also enjoys flamenco because of the footwork it involves.
“When I [dance to] hip hop I feel like I can be myself and nobody judges me,” said Cristian.
Garcia said that jazz allows her to “dance out” her feelings.
Tricia Tirella may be reached at TriciaT@hudsonreporter.com.