NWDA is so proud of all of our talented, hard-working students that we'd like to take the opportunity to recognize a dancer we feel has excelled, inspired, or embodied a commendable trait in our Dancer of the Month program!
May 2017 Dancer of the Month
Congrats to our May dancer of the month, Shileigh Morrow! Shileigh's love of dance radiates throughout her glowing performances and her connection with the music is clear for all to see. Shileigh shows up to class ready to work but also ready to enjoy the experience and that enthusiasm helps her really embrace each lesson. Fantastic job, Shileigh!
Shileigh is 7 years old and has been dancing since she was 2-and-a-half. Learning new tricks and performing on stage "with sass and facials" are her favorite aspects of dance, and she enjoys taking lyrical with Ms. Augga and jazz with Ms. Casmir. Shileigh looks to Ms. Casmir as a role model because she likes that she used to dance and now teaches and, in the future, Shileigh hopes to be a dance teacher.
Outside of dance, Shileigh is a fun-loving kid who likes flowers, playing on the monkey bars, and spending time with her pets-- she has four dogs and two cats! At school, she enjoys art because she loves to paint and draw and she recommends the Peppa Pig book series. Shileigh can't wait to go swimming and boating with her family this summer and she loves going to the sand dunes to ride quads.
Shileigh's mother, Amy Porter, has this to say about the dance journey: "Shileigh was born to dance. Since joining NWDA at the age of 3 she has grown immensely. She has learned to be more outgoing, believe in her self, and how to persevere when things are hard. She loves her team, her teachers and her dance friends."
March 2017 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to Aspen Alley, our March dancer of the month! Aspen has been improving in leaps and bounds this year, gaining strength and control of movement. Her teachers have seen her challenging herself and working towards her goals and appreciate all of the effort she's giving as well as the positive attitude she brings to class, making it our good fortune to have her at NWDA. Way to go, Aspen!
Aspen has been dancing for four years and has made good friends along the way. This year, production, jazz, and lyrical are her favorite classes and she enjoys working with Miss Augga and Miss Casmir. She finds dance inspiration in Miss Abby Hau and hopes one day to be a dance teacher. When performing on stage, Aspen loves working as a team with her dance friends and seeing the audience's reaction.
Outside of dance, Aspen is interested in science and cooking and she enjoys playing games with friends and going on vacation. This spring, she looks forward to taking her dog Mickey for long walks in the sunshine.
Aspen's mom, Carly Petzold, credits dance for helping Aspen develop a strong confidence in her abilities. "Dancing has helped Aspen build self confidence and self esteem. She has had to set goals for herself in dance and it has been great to see her accomplish them. I love NWDA because her teachers have helped Aspen accomplish her goals, they have pushed her to do things she didn't think she could. She has also made lifelong friends."
February 2017 Dancer of the Month
Meet our February dancer of the month, Maya Hernandez! Maya's teachers love her unwavering resolve and focus when tackling new skills. Even in the face of adversity, she refuses to give up but listens to the advice of her teachers and renews her efforts. This strength of character combined with the depth of emotion she shows on stage have helped her grow into a beautiful dancer and her sweet, exuberant spirit makes her a valued member of the NWDA family. Congratulations, Maya!
Maya is 10 years old and has been dancing at Northwest Dance and Acro since she was 3, beginning in Ms. Mo's combo class, and joining the competition team at age 5. Since then, her enthusiasm for dance and performing has only grown. She says, "I love to make people happy and I get excited to show what we've been working hard on. I enjoy the movements of dance. Dancing makes me feel many different emotions, sometimes sadness, happiness, or like I can do anything and I put all of that emotion into my performance. That helps me connect with the dance." Her favorite styles are contemporary and hip hop, contemporary because it can be slow, flowing, and emotional or fast and sharp, and hip hop because it has different moods and can require that you act in different ways. Maya appreciates working with all of her teachers because, "They push me so I can become a better dancer." Outside of the studio, Maya spends a lot of time playing with her brother, reading, cooking, painting, and trekking through the woods. She enjoys math and science at school and in the future she dreams of dancing professionally, choreographing, and becoming a chef.
Maya's mom, Melanie, has this to say about dancing at NWDA: "Seeing Maya dance brings me so much joy, the character and animation she brings to the stage are truly something special, but what really warms my heart is seeing her compliment or wish good luck to other teams at competitions, support a friend who had a stumble, or celebrate another's victory. It tells me I'm not just raising a good dancer, but a good human being. Too often our society tends to give attention to bad behavior to the point where whole television shows are devoted to it. NWDA does an excellent job of battling stereotypes in the dance world by encouraging compassion, courtesy, and class in their dancers. It's like a second home to my daughter and we're happy she has such a positive environment to pursue what she loves."
November 2016 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to Ellie Martin, our November dancer of the month! Ellie's teachers are impressed with her determined concentration which has helped her develop an artful awareness of balance and movement at such a young age! Ellie made the leap to our petite team this year and is thriving with each new challenge. Her friendly and respectful attitude make her a welcome addition to our team and we're excited to see her evolve. Way to go, Ellie!
Ellie is 7 years old and is eagerly engaged in her fourth year of dance. She loves making new friends at the studio and treasures the opportunity to dance on stage, where she can show what she has been working so hard on. This season, Ellie is particularly enjoying lyrical with Ms. Augga and she finds inspiration in Abby Hau and her beautiful turns. Ellie is most looking forward to Christmastime this winter and dreams of becoming a dance teacher when she grows up. Outside of dance, she enjoys writing, art, and playing with American Girl dolls. Ellie's teachers hold a special place in her heart and are her favorite thing about dancing at NWDA.
Ellie's mom, Stephanie Martin, has a great appreciation for one of the life lessons dance helps to impart and says: "Dancing has shown Ellie how much you can accomplish when you focus and give it your all."
October 2016 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to our October dancer of the month, Emma Griffith! Emma's teachers love that she constantly challenges herself to try new things and achieve new levels of improvement. Emma's persistance has helped her make great strides in dance and her strength, agility, and winning smile truly shine on stage. Fantastic job, Emma, keep up the good work!
Emma began dancing at the age of 3 and she quickly made the transition to competitive dance at age 4. Augga is her number one inspiration; Emma looks up to her as an instructor and applies her best work ethic to meet Augga’s expectations. Critiques and corrections also help motivate Emma to work hard and achieve new goals. When asked what she enjoys most about performing, Emma answers, "Doing what I love on stage for others." Outside of dance, Emma has a full life filled with fun activities like swimming, biking, baking, and playing with friends and family. She enjoys math most of all at school, is currently reading The 39 Clues series in her spare time, and can often be found rocking out to her favorite song, Hall of Fame by The Script. Emma's favorite thing about NWDA is all of the friends she has made. She sums it up succintly saying, "Everyone is really nice."
Emma's mom, Michelle Griffith, says this about the dance experience: "Dance has helped Emma to grow and develop into a physically and mentally strong, healthy, confident young lady. It has also taught her many life lessons, such as how to be part of a team, sportsmanship, and graciousness. Emma loves her teammates and instructors. She always looks forward to her classes and often asks if she can attend more classes. Emma is a hard worker. She strives to do her best in anything she does and is always pushing herself to improve and become a better dancer. Emma is naturally shy and reserved but dance has given her the ability to show a different side of herself."
May 2016 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to our May Dancer of the Month Sierra Edmundson! Sierra's teachers rave about her reliability, positive attitude, and attentiveness in class. Sierra shows up for each class ready to work and give her best effort, which really speaks to her devotion to dance. When performing, Sierra's poise and grace are highlighted in her beautiful lines.
Sierra is getting ready to celebrate her 14th birthday and has been dancing for five years. She looks to Gisele Bethea, an apprentice dancer at the American Ballet Theater, for her dance inspiration. What she admires about Gisele is that she hasn't let the competition in the ballet world go to her head but keeps her focus on family. Sierra hopes to do the same. She prefers classical and Balanchine style ballet because it has an extra flair to it. When asked what she enjoys most about performing, Sierra says, "There are no worries. You just see the bright lights and smile and dance!"
Outside of dance, Sierra can be found practicing the high jump and hurdles in track, but she finds almost any sport fun, and she also enjoys geometry in school. This summer she is looking forward to traveling to Iowa to visit family in that area. Her favorite book is "Between Shades of Gray" by Ruta Spetys, a fictional story about a Holocaust survivor, and her favorite song is "Start a Fire" by Unspoken. Sierra loves the atmosphere at NWDA and that it feels like a family. She says, "Everyone encourages each other and are always there when people need them."
Sierra's mother, Susan Edmundson, has this to say about Sierra's time dancing at NWDA: "Dancing has been a great outlet for Sierra. She always looks forward to her dance nights. When she's dancing, she can let all the other stressors go and just relax and get better at something she loves. Sierra has also become physically stronger and more self confident. I am thankful for NWDA because of its talented teachers and the many classes offered. Sierra has been exposed to many types of dance which has helped her to find her passion- Ballet!"
April 2016 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to April Dancer of the Month Charlotte Weseman! Charlotte's teachers love her committment to hard work and that she doesn't make excuses but applies herself to the activity at hand and presses forward. This attitude has helped Charlotte grow tremendously. Excellent job!
Charlotte is 9 years old and has been dancing for four years. Her favorite aspect of performing on stage is getting to dance for her friends and family. She loves jazz dance the most because it gives her the opportunity to be funky and sassy without getting into trouble for it. She is looking forward to Nationals this summer and getting to dance with her friends. When asked what she enjoys most about school, Charlotte declares lunch as her favorite with reading and spelling close behind. When not dancing, Charlotte can be found outside playing with her friends. Charlotte's teachers at NWDA hold a special place in her heart, especially Ms. Augga, and she appreciates all of the critiques she receives that help her become a better dancer.
Charlotte's mother, Sarah Weseman, has this to say about dancing at NWDA: "Brian and I love NWDA. The teachers are helpful, supportive, and caring. Charlotte loves to dance; it amazes us how focused and dedicated she is at such a young age. She just loves to dance and we love to watch her learn and grow each day.
March 2016 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to Sophia Darby, our March Dancer of the Month! Miss Augga applauds Sophia's incredible focus and determination during class. Sophia's ability to eliminate distractions and stay tuned to instructions has allowed her to make great progress as a dancer. You're doing a fantastic job, Sophia, keep up the great work!
Sophia is 7 years old and has been dancing for four years. Though she cannot pick a favorite from her teachers, she loves Miss Augga and insists that all of her classes are fun. Her favorite thing about dance is making friends and she finds inspiration in fellow NWDA dancer Abby Hau. Sophia enjoys dance so much that she hopes to be a dance teacher in the future but, in the meantime, her favorite subjects in school are math, reading, and writing. In the spring, you can find Sophia playing outside with her friends and sisters and, once summer hits, you can find her swimming in the pool or lake. If Sophia had her pick of destinations for a family vacation, she would choose Great Wolf Lodge or Disneyland!
Sophia's mom, Kari Darby, has this to say about Sophia's time at NWDA: "Sophia is a very quiet girl. Dancing at NWDA has helped her in so many ways. The teachers are wonderful and have really built up her confidence. They have helped her to overcome some difficult obstacles and she loves it here."
February 2016 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to Vivien Palmer, our February Dancer of the Month! Vivien always gives her best effort in class and her bubbly personality is infectious and fun. When Vivien takes the stage, the joy and love she has for dance is evident in her performance.
Vivien began dancing recreationally at age 3 and it was love at first sight. She is currently in her second year as a competitive dancer (though she feels like maybe it has been 100 years!) and her favorite thing about dancing is learning and being able to express herself. She loves all of her NWDA teachers but Miss Augga has a special spot in her heart. Vivien looks up to fellow dancers Abby Hau and Sadie Barczyszyn but her favorite inspiration is her big brother, Lucas. During winter, she loves to celebrate Christmas and play in the snow and her favorite family vacation destination is Brazil. When Vivien grows up, she hopes to be a beautiful ballerina like Miss Miye Bishop. Vivien is currently learning how to read because she loves books and, outside of dance, she can also be found coloring, swimming, riding her bike, and having playdates with her friends. Vivien's favorite thing about dancing at NWDA is pouring her heart out while dancing and having lots of friends and strong role models.
In regards to dancing at NWDA, Vivien's mom, Priscila Palmer, says: "Vivien used to be so shy, afraid of everything and everybody. I credit dance for helping her grow into this beautiful 5 year old full of life and smiles. Also, dance has been teaching Vivien discipline, dedication, confidence, respect, how to focus, and not to be afraid of failure."
December 2015 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to Amanda Ueltschi! Amanda's perseverance, positive attitude, and willingness to try new things have helped her grow tremendously into a wonderfully versatile dancer!
Amanda is 12 years old and has been dancing for four years. She earned the nickname "Nugget" from a Spotlight judge after performing with the teen hip hop team. Her favorite style of dance is contemporary because she enjoys the mix of lyrical and jazz. She wants her fellow dancers to know: "Dance can be frustrating but keep working hard and you will reach your goal." When facing the challenges that dance can present, her favorite thing about NWDA is that everyone is so supportive. Outside of dance, Amanda enjoys math and is reading A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket.
Amanda's mom, Monica Ueltschi, credits dance as a positive force in her daughter's life, stating: "Dance has taught Amanda to be passionate, focused, and dedicated. She has had the opportunity to meet many inspiring people and create lifetime friendships."
November 2015 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to Reese Remle, our November Dancer of the Month! Reese's teachers are delighted with the progress she has made and are continually impressed with her strong work ethic and steadfast resolve when tackling something challenging.
Reese just turned 11 and has been dancing at NWDA since she was 3 years old. Her favorite kind of dance styles are contemporary and lyrical because she likes the lines and extensions. She loves the colorful leaves of fall and pumpkin carving with her family and her current must-read book series is The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. Reese enjoys math and reading and, in the future, would like to pursue dance as well as become a doctor, focusing her studies on the heart. When asked what advice she would give to her fellow dancers, Reese says, "You may fail and fail but that doesn't mean to stop trying. Never ever give up, you will get there someday as long as you try your best."
Regarding the impact of dance on Reese's life, Annette Remle says, "Dance has made a huge impact on Reese's life and brings her such joy. It has taught her to be confident, given her a voice when she is too shy to talk, and continuously challenges her to never give up and give it her all. Reese has such a deep passion and love for the art of dance. Whether she's performing or dancing in the living room, dancing makes Reese so happy and makes her shine."
June 2015 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to Elinor Seth, our June Dancer of the Month! Elinor's teachers are impressed with her focus and determination to give 100% in every single class. Her enthusiasm really highlights her love of dance and her caring and bubbly personality make her a joy to work with!
Elinor is turning 11 in July and has been dancing for three years. When dancing to lyrical music, Elinor says, "I feel like I can do anything." She concentrates on the feeling and flow of the music and incorporates that into her movements. She encourages her fellow dancers to never stop trying: "If you want to be an athlete, you are going to fall and fail! But never, ever stop trying! You will get it someday! That also keeps me motivated. If you want to be a better dancer, don't be afraid to try something new!"
Elinor's favorite song is "Count On Me" by Bruno Mars because, she says, "It reminds me of how much I love my friends, how much they love me, how much we stand up for each other, and how much they make me feel amazing or cheer me up when I'm sad." She is currently reading The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck and she enjoys language arts and math at school. When not dancing, Elinor likes to sing loudly in her room, play her flute, and she loves playing with her puppy, Mr. Bennet!
May 2015 Dancer of the Month
Congratulations to Klara Darby, our May Dancer of the month! Her teachers agree that she is a diligent student, has shown a lot of growth this year, and they love that when they ask her to do something, she is able to focus on their instructions and put it into practice right away! Her positive and friendly attitute make her a valued member of the NWDA family.
Klara is 9 years old and has been dancing since she was 3-and-a-half. She likes all of the different styles of dance and if she could give any advice to her fellow dancers it would be to "work hard and listen to your teachers". Her favorite school subject is science, her favorite color is pink, and, outside of school and dance, Klara loves to play with her sisters and friends. She also enjoys road trips with her family.