The dance team of Destiny Rowden, Trinity Rowden, Destiny Rowden, Hailey Thomas, and Gabby Alvillar competed at the National Kids Artistic Review inLas Vegas, June 2-7.
The team danced to the song “Mad World.” The team also danced at the Mesquite Has Talent Competition, held April 12-14, on the stage at the Mesquite Community Theatre where they took second place.
Second place was good inMesquite, but they took first place for their dancing inLas Vegas. They also placed second overall and won a special award for Most Dramatic group.
One judge noted the performance was, “far above their experience and years,” and as local judge Morris Workman said during theMesquite’s Got Talent, “I usually look for variety in a competition such as this. We’ve had three nights of performances and we’re looking for diversity in the talent and a different act all three nights. But after I saw this the first time -- this was one act that I was looking forward to seeing again.”
Karen Law’s younger students also entered the competition. Jayci Johnson, Adriana Ludena and Gwendolyn Rasmussen , in the 8-year-old category, took sixth place overall and a Top First for a dance routine they called “Splish, Splash.’ Rasmussen took first place for a solo routine.
Law choreographs the girls’ routines.
“This is what I do for a living,” Law said. “I know my kids and what they are capable of… I tailor the routines (and hopefully their dance direction) to enhance their best abilities.” Law noted that certain body types, a look or even an attitude, makes a difference in dancing.
“Not everybody is meant to be a ballerina. Sometimes students do much better at tap or they excel in hip hop so I try to talk to them about their options and steer them toward what I know would be choices best suited to them,” she added.
Law, teacher and owner of From the Top School of Dance, opened her dance school in 2009. A farm girl fromMichigan, Law has 40 years of dance under her belt and has been teaching since she was 17.
She’s studied dance from the age of 8 and jumped at the opportunity to teach and did for many years. But circumstances changed, one thing led to another and soon Law moved toLas Vegasto work as a professional dancer.
Law told the MLN, “I was a single mom and had to think about the money to raise my daughter. Vegas seemed the way to go.” Law joined a show and worked for many years dancing two shows a day, six days a week.
Law learned that hard work and discipline comes with being a dancer. She said she passes along every ounce of that discipline on to her students.
Law says she treats each and every student just like her own child, but she pushes hard. Law said her students were able to win this competition because she teaches from the heart, but doesn’t coddle them.
Law explained the situation, “The girls were getting ready for their performance of ‘Mad World.’ This is a song where the girls have to be dramatic and completely get into the part. One of the girls had come from her solo performance and was feeling bad because she messed something up. I felt bad for her, she was crying and her makeup was running; they were about to go out.
“All the other girls were telling her it was all right. It’ll be ok, don’t worry… and at that minute I knew what had to be done. I told those girls to be quiet, don’t coddle her and I took my girl aside and told her this…’You messed up. You feel terrible right now. You hold on to that and go on that stage and knock that audience right out of their seats. I don’t want you to give up on one single feeling you are having right this minute.’”
Law said, “She went out on that stage and it was the best she’d ever done. The girls came back with a Top First, an overall second place in their category and a special award for most dramatic. Dance is dramatic: it tells a story through mind, body and spirit and those feelings kept her (the dancer) in the story. I wish the people who saw these girls inMesquite’s Got Talent could see how much they’ve grown in this piece over the past two months.”
Law teaches dance to anyone interested and said it is the best exercise. But she teaches every student in a way that, should the student ever want a career in dance, he or she will be ready for that.
Law says there are only a few things she is sure of in this world, “I love my father with all my heart. He was instrumental in helping me achieve my dreams. I have great shoulders and I know dance.”
Law says, “We are currently enrolling students in this season’s classes and I can’t wait to see what kind of new talent I can work with. There are so many talented children inMesquite: it’s always exciting to see them grow and develop. When they win competitions like this, I’m probably worse than the parents on the side lines balling, I’m so proud of my kids.”
Those interested in enrolling in classes at From the Top School of Dance can email Law at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 346-2472.