The Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA School of Dance/The Dance Konnection Competition team, students of Kimberlee Jo Kups-Benson, competed at Rainbow Connection Dance Competition in Des Moines this past spring. Several of their routines placed in the high overall score for their division as well as many title winners.
One of the routines, performed by seven of their dancers, Ease on Down the Road choreographed by Katherine Davies, (a Dance Konnection instructor), was chosen for the Best Dance Video of the Year contest. The judges select a group routine at each Regional Competition. The routines are videotaped in all three levels (Starz of Tomorrow, Rising Starz and Elite Starz) that display outstanding qualities during their performance. Each winning routine's video will be featured on Rainbow's Facebook Page.
The amount of "likes" will be tracked for each Video Of the Year finalist. At the end of the season, the top nine videos; three in each division with the most 'likes,' will be announced. From there, the TOP 3 will be selected based on additional judging criteria in addition to the 'likes' accumulated. Rainbow will visit the top three winners' studios (one from each division) to film a video montage showcasing the winning studio, directors, teachers and students. This special video highlighting the three VOY winners will be featured on Rainbow's website.
This photo shows the Dance Konnection dancers featured in the Ease on Down the Road video. Pictured, front row, from left: Madison Dougall as the Lollipop Munchkin, Abby Busch as Scarecrow, McKenna Dungan as Lullabye Munchkin; back row: Clare Veren as the Witch, Emma Kuhlers as Dorothy, Javon Lewis as the Tinman and Victoria Steggallas as the Lion.
The Dance Konnection posted the video and contest information on its Facebook page and asked people to watch and vote for the video. The video was one of the three most voted on in its division across the nation. Rainbow holds approximately 35 regional dance competitions a year. Each region has anywhere from 100-500 routines that compete.
"So our routine getting picked at our regionals was huge, then to be in the top three up for the national award is a win for us. Fingers crossed we win over all but getting this far is a huge honor for our studio and our town. We are very excited and proud of our dancers," Kups-Benson said.
To see the video of the routine, go to the Rainbow Connection Facebook page or The Dance Konnection Facebook page. The winner will be announced in Las Vegas on July 12 at Rainbow's nationals.