Central Elite celebrates wins

Published 1:54 pm Monday, February 20, 2017

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

CLANTON —The Central Elite of Central Cheer, Dance and Twirl came home big winners from a recent Showstoppers competition in Nashville, Tennessee.

Twenty-five of the studios’ students competed in the competition.

Seven of the performances won first in their division with four achieving a platinum rating.

The “Da Clubhouse” performance won platinum, first in division and first overall production.

“Minion Mambo” won gold, first in division and third overall in mini character division. “Rotten to the Core” won gold, first in division and second overall mini jazz division. “We Run the World” won platinum, first in division and first overall junior jazz division. “Conga Cuties” won gold, first in division and fifth overall petite open division.”Yaow” won gold and fifth overall in teen open division. Clarissa Mullins won platinum, first in division and first overall in teen acro/dance division for “Swing Break.”

Paisley Bice, Olivia Epperson and Maggi Beth Harrison won platinum, first in division and second overall mini trio for “Talk of the Town.” Blaire Adams won gold and second in 6-under division for “Get Your Sparkle On.” Alanna Cleckler won gold, third in division and ninth overall junior jazz division for “Better When I’m Dancing.”

Mullins participated in three of the group dances and a solo.

“I was scared to go on stage for my first solo,” Mullins said.

It was her first time ever to compete in the solo category.

Mullins said she has been dancing for 10 years and enjoys it.

“As a studio owner, I could not be more proud of this group of girls. Everywhere we go I am always blown away at their sportsmanship and work ethic,” Brittany Thomas of Central Cheer Dance and Twirl said.

She said she chooses adjudicated competition because of the feedback it provides to the dancers.

“They do a video critique and the judges talk while we are dancing and it really helps us to know what to correct,” Thomas said.

Rankings range from silver to double platinum.

“My oldest girl that did her solo was a point away from getting double platinum,” Thomas said.

Competition day was nonstop. Thomas said the Central dancers “fed off the energy” of watching other groups perform

Choreographer Christian Burnett said preparing for the competition was “very stressful” with “lots of long hours in the studio” but he has enjoyed seeing the girls hard work pay off.

He said the flow of a dance and the smoothness of moves are what he focuses on for a dance.

“When you see them as they come off stage and just see how happy and excited they are, that’s what makes everything worth it,” Burnett said.

He said he was blown away by how well the teams did.

“Last year, we came home with six trophies this time we had 13, so we were very excited,” Thomas said.

Learning choreography for competition begins in the summer with the goal of having it down by August. Thomas said she tries to pick songs that fit each age group and that they will enjoy.