THE Dance Addiction team which formed part of the South African performing arts team won 32 medals, including 21 gold, at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles last week.
The SA team took on teams from more than 50 other countries in the event at the Long Beach Performing Arts Centre and finished in the top three with Australia and Thailand.
The Dance Addiction contingent alone won 21 gold, seven silver and four bronze medals, winning 18 overall division trophies in the process.
The star of the show was former Merrifield College pupil Chace Collett, who won 14 gold medals and one silver, boasting a full house of gold medals in her solos and duos with partner Ashley Behrens and her modelling. This is in addition to 13 overall division trophies. It was the most awards in Team SA.
“Chace and I then won the overall grand champion dance group of the world title for our duo for the second time. We were both ecstatic as the competition was incredibly tough. We were selected in the top three out of 50 countries,” said Dance Addcition owner Behrens from Los Angeles.
Collett was ecstatic with her performance and “is a shining example of how dedication, determination and hard work create winners”.
Dance Addiction member Jemima Kruger, 14, also danced her heart out and came home with five gold medals for each discipline, featuring acrobatics, contemporary, jazz, lyric and open.
Behrens said the East Londoners were thrilled with their performance after the hard work they put in.
“It is an awesome feeling to win the title after all the hours of training and dedication.”
Behrens and Collett were awarded six-month Millennium Dance Complex scholarships, which they have also been awarded for the past five years.
“One of our dancers, Alizwa Sotshongaye, also received a 30-day scholarship at the Millenium Dance Complex. But besides all these amazing scholarships, trophies and medals, I feel that each team member definitely gained experience from dancing alongside the best dancers from each country and growth from taking part in boot camps with world-renowned choreographers and talent scouts,” Behrens said.
Behrens and Collett took the girls to practise at Millenium before the events, which was a highlight for them. Having spent a lot of time in LA in the last few years, Behrens and Collett could take the girls to Universal Studios and got the chance to spend some time on the beach. Not to forget about the Hollywood Walk of fame and seeing the Hollywood sign.
Congratulations to the dancers, you have made East London proud!