Sonshine Academy’s Xtreme Dance Force (XDF) participated in three dance competitions during the 2011 season.
Director and choreographer Michelle Knell said that Kid’s Artistic Revue, Primetime Dance Challenge, and Revolution Dance Competition were "taken by storm" when her novice dance team and four soloists brought home many awards.
Hard work of this young but talented and group of girls paid off with fantastic and frequent accolades, Knell said.
She credits coaches, students, and parents with the season’s success which included numerous showings in the Top 5, 1 overall solo champion, category high point winners, groups and soloists receiving special recognition or scholarships, and even one group invited to re-compete in the Primetime Live President’s Cup.
"Ease on Down the Road," choreographed by Michelle Knell, received Elite Gold and Elite First awards. They placed in the top 10 every time they competed with their highest placement being third overall at Primetime Dance Challenge where they were asked to re-compete in the Primetime Live Finals for the President’s Cup.
"It was an exciting year for these talented young ladies," Knell said.
Performers were Hannah Tefteller, Taryn Bewley, Madison Smothers, Makayla King and Abbi Harmon.
"Party State of Mind" also staged by Michelle Knell, scored enough points for an Elite Gold award at Revolution Dance Competition. At Kid’s Artistic Revue it was recognized by judges as the "Tip Top Tappers" routine. Participating dancers were: Hannah Tefteller, Taryn Bewley, Madison Smothers, Makayla King, and Abbi Harmon.
"My Boyfriend’s Back" staged by Lauren Howell, received an Elite Gold and a First Place award this season. It was performed by soloist Savannah Dubose, daughter of Lisa and Tony Dubose of Conway.
"So Much Better," choreographed and performed by Haley Harmon, was awarded a special judges award called "Hip-Hop Hottie," and received Platinum and Elite First awards during the season. Haley also won first place in the Hip-Hop category with this routine and received a Power Pak scholarship invitation which means that she was one of only four dancers in the Senior division to be invited to study in a week-long program with master teachers and then perform in a production number at the Revolution National Dance Competition with other nationally recognized talent. Haley is the daughter of Michelle and Kevin Knell of Conway.
Lauren Miller performed a lyrical solo to "Lead Me to the Cross" and judges awarded her with Platinum, Elite First, and Elite Top First awards. Miller was named a KAR All Star Dancer at Kid’s Artistic Revue, placed in the top 10 twice with this routine, had the highest score in the lyrical category at Primetime Dance Challenge, and was given a Power Pak Scholarship Invitation at Revolution Dance Competition.
Miller is the daughter of April and James Miller of Greenbrier and is coached by Haley Harmon. Her award-winning number was also choreographed by Harmon, a new XDF choreographer.
Miller also took home both Platinum and Elite Top First awards for her modern performance of "The Lioness Hunt" which was choreographed by Michelle Knell. Her routine had the highest score in the modern category at Revolution Dance Competition.
"Jar of Hearts," choreographed by Michelle Knell, featured lyrical soloist Sarah Dixon who took home Elite Gold and Top First trophies. Dixon placed 9th overall in the intermediate solo division at Kid’s Artistic Revue and was named a KAR All Star Dancer. Dixon is the daughter of Donna and Tim Dixon of Greenbrier.
Lauren Miller and Sarah Dixon performed an award winning lyrical duet entitled "Beautiful Mess," choreographed by Michelle Knell. The girls received a Platinum award at Revolution Dance Competition, took first place in the lyrical category and placed in the top 10 twice, taking third place overall at the final competition of the season.
"Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart" performed by Hannah Tefteller and choreographed by Lauren Howell, took home Elite Gold and Top First awards. Tefteller placed in the top 10 every time she performed, took first place in the jazz category at Revolution Dance Competition, and was also named a KAR All Star Dancer. She is the daughter of Chad and April Tefteller of Conway.
Haley Harmon, daughter of Michelle and Kevin Knell of Conway, performed a lyrical routine choreographed by her mother, Michelle Knell.
Harmon was awarded Platinum, Elite First, and Elite Top First for her performances. Not only did she win first place in the lyrical category at Revolution Dance Competition and first-place overall in the Xtreme Senior Solo Division at Primetime Dance Challenge, which came with a $100 check, but she also placed in the top five at every competition with her interpretation of "Heavenly Day."
Teachers and choreographers who contributed to the success of Xtreme Dance Force are Michelle Knell, director; Lauren Howell, Junia Massey, and Haley Harmon.