The Dancer's Spotlight
We are thrilled to announce a new dancer recognition program we call The Dancer's Spotlight. Over the course of the year, we plan to recognize two dancers who have excelled in some way and who we feel should be applauded for their achievements! We hope you'll join us in congratulating the recipients on their efforts!
We'd like to introduce you to the latest inductee to The Dancer's Spotlight, Grace McShane! If you haven't met this pint-sized force of nature then you are missing out! Miss Grace has an incredible work ethic that she couples with goal-setting, allowing her to make conscious corrections and work methodically in her dance training-- these are skills we rarely see so well-developed in a dancer of this age! These impressive qualities are surpassed only by her bubbly and caring personality which makes her an exemplary teammate and an asset to any classroom. Outside of dance, Grace is famous for her witty anecdotes and love of homework. We hope you enjoy your time in The Dancer's Spotlight, Grace, it is well-deserved!
Grace is 8 years old and has been dancing since she was 1-- she started in "Mommy and Me" movement classes through the city rec center. Grace began ballet/tap combo at age 3 and then moved to NWDA when she joined the Broadway Babies team at age 4. Her favorite style of dance is lyrical but her favorite class is currently tap because she's learning new rhythms. When asked about her favorite routines, Grace has a hard time narrowing it down but says that last year's lyrical solo "Willow" and her lyrical team dance "I See the Light" rank at the top. For dance inspiration, Grace looks to NWDA dancers Isabella Spidell and Amanda Ueltschi as her role models. When asked why, Grace says, "I love that they work so hard and always look beautiful on stage and push through the hard parts. "
When not dancing, Grace enjoys math and spending time with her friends. Her nickname at home is "Chicken", which is what her mom has called her since she was a baby because she had a sprout of hair and looked like Chicken Little. Grace says she looks forward to competition this time of year because, "I love being on stage and it's a fun experience. I feel happy when Miss Augga is proud of me."
Grace's advice for other dancers is to always work hard, never give up, and always push through.
Grace's mom, Stacey McShane, has this to share about their time with NWDA: "I love our studio because we have a wonderful community of teachers, parents and dancers. The studio is our second home and a place we enjoy spending our time. I feel that dance has helped Grace tremendously in school. She is used to being coached and being disciplined in her work and actions, and that carries over to her school work. Her teachers love that she is easygoing, flexible and works hard. She isn't afraid to dust herself off when things get hard and keep trying. The skills she learns at the studio will serve her well in life. For example, last year, she fell on a slippery stage during her solo. She quickly problem solved and figured out where her music was and got back up and kept going. A lot of kids would have left the stage in tears, but she learned fortitude in dance and she kept going and pushed through her embarrassment. I was really proud of her during that moment."
Sadie has simply grown in leaps and bounds this year thanks to her hard work and determination! It has been a joy to watch her grow and blossom over the years, both in her technique and performance. Her exuberance is contagious and helps set a positive atmosphere in each of her classes, making her an excellent role model to her peers. She is a beautiful dancer, inside and out. We are thrilled to applaud Sadie and welcome her to The Dancer's Spotlight!
Sadie is 11 years old and has been dancing since she could walk. Her parents knew that they wanted her to have some type of physical activity and her mother's fond memories of dance as a child led them to enroll her in classes with Ms. Mo. Once Sadie was old enough to make her own decision, she chose to keep dancing because she loved it. Sadie's favorite styles of dance are tap and hip hop but, when asked to choose a favorite routine over the years, she says, "I can't really pick my favorite dance routine, I have loved them all." The older girls at NWDA have been Sadie's dance inspiration and she strives to be like them.
Outside of dance, Sadie enjoys spending time with her family and friends and playing with her pets. At school, Sadie loves to read and write and says, "It's a ton of fun!" Something you may not know about Sadie is that she loves to draw and has gotten pretty good at it over the years. This summer, she looks forward to playing in the pool and going on vacation.
When asked what guidance she would pass on to other dancers, Sadie says, "My advice for other dancers is that even when things get hard, push through it, because you can do it."
Sadie's mom, Trisha Ross, has this to say about Sadie's dance experience: "NWDA is like a second family for us. The friendships Sadie has found are beyond what could have been expected. She has always been shy and reserved, but the environment at NWDA, promoted by Augga, the teachers, and other students and families, has helped to support and encourage Sadie to feel more confident expressing herself through dance. Now, as Sadie's little sisters follow in her footsteps, I feel good knowing the nurturing, supportive environment at the studio will continue to enrich their lives as it has Sadie's."
Brooklyn has shown exceptional effort, dedication, and, as a result, progression in her training. She applies herself consistently in class, taking teacher feedback and implementing it directly, improving technique in the process. Brooklyn also demonstrates a tireless passion for dance and a positive attitude that help drive her towards her goals. We are pleased to congratulate Brooklyn Getzinger on earning her place in The Dancer's Spotlight!
Brooklyn is 13 years old and has been dancing for a total of 4 years, 3 of them with NWDA. She enjoys all of the different dance styles she has tried over the years and finds that variety really is the spice of life. She loves participating in the large group ballet routines and finds it fun to dance with the whole team. Abby Hau is her dance inspiration and she has this to say about her mentor: "Abby tells a story when she dances. She pays attention to all the little details in choreography. She works extremely hard and never makes excuses. I also like that she pushes me to be a better dancer. "
Fun fact about Brooklyn: Her nickname when she lived in China was Yo-Yo. Outside of dance, Brooklyn's favorite subject in school is art and she loves to travel, spend time with her family, and build expert lego sets. In winter, she looks forward to winter break and playing in the snow.
When asked what her advice to fellow dancers would be, Brooklyn says: "Really push yourself to stay focused in class. Be respectful to your teachers by doing what they say without giving excuses. Don't give up when it gets hard."
"It is hard for me to put into words how much Augga and Northwest Dance and Acro have done for my daughter. The life lessons in commitment, teamwork, resilience, and daily effort have been more than we could have hoped for. Those skills cannot just be picked up anywhere and they have all been fostered at NWDA.
Brooklyn came to NWDA having danced only one year prior. Immediately she was welcomed with open arms and Augga and the staff took an interest in her. She started dance later than many girls and had a lot of catching up to do. After Brooklyn expressed her interest in becoming a better dancer Augga was right there to talk to her and us about what it would take to get caught up to her peers. She told her if she put in the effort and time to improve she would. Brooklyn took that to heart and each and every one of the instructors at NWDA has gone above and beyond to make sure that if Brooklyn is willing to put in the time and focus needed to improve they would push her to get better each and every time she works with them.
Dancing is not easy and it takes effort and attention to detail. You can’t just show up to class and go through the motions if you want to get better. Augga and the instructors strive to help the girls achieve their potential by making the classes challenging but also making them fun so the students enjoy what they are doing. Brooklyn enjoys each of her instructors and how they try and make her a better dancer each class.
Being a part of the competitive teams at NWDA has been an amazing experience. It helped Brooklyn really see what it means to have commitment to your teammates. Skipping classes or only giving the minimum effort really has an effect on the entire team’s ability to be successful. In order for the team to do well, you must do your part well and also be positive and helpful to your teammates so that you can all do the best that you can.
Each of these life skills have been honed at NWDA. We could not be happier with Augga and NWDA. Brooklyn loves it here and we feel blessed to be a part of this studio."
At NWDA, we feel just as blessed to have dancers like Brooklyn and families like hers to help make this studio such a special space. Congratulations, Brooklyn! We look forward to being a part of your continued journey and seeing all that you accomplish!