Dancers at Dixon Dance Academy in West Dundee picked up top honors in three categories at the Chicago Regional American Dance Awards.
The dancers, ages 17-19, combined imagination and creativity with talent and hard work to wow judges at the highly respected regional competition. Technical precision and artistic expression are the primary criteria for judging.
The performers are part of the preprofessional IMPACT Dance Company at the academy, which includes eight dancers training for college dance programs or careers in the highly competitive dance world, according to academy owner/director Cathleen Dixon. IMPACT dancers took gold medals in three categories at the April competition.
Director Dixon's piece to the Depeche Mode hit "People Are People" won first place in the 17-19 age division. Judges also awarded it the Best Attack commendation for its hard-hitting, anti- racism message.
Choreographer Tonya Lucchetti-Hudson earned the second highest score of the entire competition with a sultry routine to "Blackbird," a Southern-style routine which also won a special Breath of Fresh Air award for its unique theme and "raggedy" costuming.
Soloist Aaron Rogers received an Ultimate Gold Medal for his self-choreographed lyrical jazz routine to the Phil Collins hit, "Against All Odds. …