National Dance Champs
Twenty girls from a Richland dance academy have become national dance champions.
Two teams from The Dance Class recently won a national title beating out 700 other competing teams.
Timing, precision, and difficulty of movement are all judged. Coaches say it's never an easy to win, but wins in two categories in group dances, that is a real victory.
"They kinda keep their cool and just stay classy. That's our motto," said coach and choreographer Emily St. Amand.
Hours of work each day, and years of training in technique, stamina, and team work. These are not traits learned overnight.
But the teams from The Dance Class recently brought home two trophies from the Spotlight West Coast Nationals. It's a competition held each year in Las Vegas.
These teams have won multiple awards over the years for choreography and precision, but this latest win is a big one. They won senior small group in tap, and senior large group in hip hop.
Some of these girls have been dancing together for 15 years. That means they started when they were just three years old.
Dancer Arisha Fite who is on both teams says many things went wrong at the last minute, but they pulled it together.
"We felt like the underdogs and we just came up from under and took it! When they called the other group for second place we already knew we had won, and we didn't know what to do except we were already jumping up and down," said Fite.
Dancer Mckenzie Fish said it's great to win, but for her it is about more than that. "I learned how to get along with just about everybody, how to be in a team, and how to bond with people. I met some of my lifelong friends here."
Coaches and girls alike say it was a team effort. Both Fite and Fish, who are 18-years-old, say this is family, and it's a family win.