A local dance company in Minot competed in the national finals in Wisconsin and brought home some big winnings.
We spoke to some of the dancers and the man behind the scenes about their experience.
Twenty-eight dancers ranging from 5 years old to high school seniors competed against thousands of dancers from all over the country.
After the week-long event, Studio X brought home first-place trophies in the Intermediate Junior level and the Junior Advance level.
Artistic Director Joshua Wise says winning the Intermediate Junior level was a pleasant surprise.
“It was probably what I would call our dark horse. They got to nationals, they finished prelims in fourth place, so going into finals we were excited for them but we were just having a great performance and then when they were crowned champions, it was unbelievable and a great, great memory for them,” said Wise.
Junior Advance dancers Ariya Hanselman and Mackenzie Broderson say winning first in their division was a dream come true.
“Amazing and very thankful for getting to do this I was just amazed. Grateful and this was actually my first nationals so it was sort of weird but it was fun,” said Hanselman and Broderson.
Sienna Weigel competed in the Advance Senior Division and performed a solo.
She says while she has been to nationals before, her favorite part is meeting everyone from all over and learning from them.
“I became really close with a studio from New Jersey and they were all super nice and very supportive so that was a good memory to become friends with them,” said Weigel.
Studio X brought home a total of 10 trophies, including four first-place ones.
Wise says he couldn’t be more proud of the dancers and all the hard work they put in this last year.
“I can’t tell you how proud. It’s such an honor to get to work with the kids to begin with but then to see all their constant hard work pay off, it just gives me so much pride,” said Wise.
And for the dancers, they love being able to put Minot on the map for dance.
“I was different because everyone was from big towns and cities and then we’re like, ‘We are from North Dakota’ and they are like, ‘What’s that?’ and we’re like, ‘There’s not much there so it’s cool to get our name out there and our studio and our names individually,'” said Weigel.
“I don’t think Minot is very well known so it’s sort of fun to go out there with all those like bigger cities and a lot of well-known studios and just like go all out,” said Broderson.
Along with winning two divisions overall, they also brought home a first-place trophy for highest score.