MOUNT WASHINGTON ee" For several hours twice a week, 11 teens from Bullitt and Jefferson Counties abandon their after-school social lives and commit themselves to dance perfection.
That group is local dance studio Dance Unlimited’s Senior All-Stars team, which includes girls Trish Orkies, Amanda Miller, Brooklyn Reinhardt, Emily McCraken, Kristen Knight, Leah Kahne, Jessica Ginn, Elizabeth Feldpausch, Amber Close, Carter Baughman and lone male Taylor Thompson.
The team is preparing for what it considers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. This April the senior all-stars will compete on a world stage in the Dance World’s Competition at Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
The team, led by dance veterans Sheryl Knight and Melissa Herberger, won a bid to world’s at the Jamfest Super Nationals Competition last February.
“They’ve been working really hard,” said Dance Unlimited’s co-owner Becky Cosman.
The team will perform a 1.45 minute pom routine that incorporates high levels of athleticism, visual effect and hip-hop dance, Knight said.
“They are a technically strong team,” Knight said. “I feel that they’re strong enough to win. Most teams you find aren’t quite as athetlic as ours.”
The team’s routine is physically grueling and incorporates several levels of dance techniques.
Last year the team placed eighth at world’s competition. Team members are looking for a first-place win this year.
“We’re going to win,” said Miller. “But we all know in the back of our heads that its judge’s discretion.”
Thompson said his team is strong on and off the floor. He said most of the members have been working together since very young ages and have learned how to play off one another’s strengths.
“We all get along and we’re really easy to work with,” he said. “We can entertain a crowd pretty well.”
Team members agreed that there is still much work to be done and that nervousness would be a factor at competition.
But overall, the consensus was that the Dance Unlimited Senior All-Stars were prepared to bring on the heat.
“We’re going to do what we have to do,” Thompson said.
Bullitt County native Trish Orkies said she hoped that more people would take an interest in supporting Dance Unlimited’s dancers.
She said what her team does at Dance Unlimited is unique to the area.
Orkies is Bullitt County’s sole native on the senior dance team.
The team continues to prepare for the world’s competition April 25-26. Both Knight and Herberger agree that they coach an unusually talented group.
“I know the kids will continue to work hard and take away from the experience a valuable life lesson,” Herberger said.
The Senior All-Stars team is looking for community support to help fund the trip. Anyone interested giving monetary support should mail donations to:
Dance Unlimited Booster Club
C/O Carrie Schaaf
6704 Watch Hill Road
Louisville, KY 40228
For more information, contact Dance Unlimited at 904-9292 or visit www.danceunlimitedlouky.com.