Imagine Dance Challenge
On March 6 and 7, company dancers from the Astra Studio of Dance and Performing Arts performed at the Imagine Dance Challenge. The event was held at the VETS Auditorium in Providence, Rhode Island. Astra’s dancers earned multiple high scores, judges’ awards, and scholarships with their performances at the Imagine Dance Challenge, as well as a Golden Ticket to the World Dance Championship.
The jazz routine Steppin’ to the Bad Side scored five stars and placed first in their category. They placed first overall in the 9-11 division, received a special judges’ award called Step Into the Spotlight, and won a Golden Ticket to attend the Star Dance Alliance World Dance Championship at the New Jersey Meadowlands in August.
Astra’s contemporary routine of Ring Around the Moon earned five stars, took first place in its category, claimed third overall in the 12-14 age division, and was also honored with a scholarship to Wild Dance Intensive. The open routine Wash Away scored five stars, while the ballet routine Strike Up the Band scored 4¾ stars and finished first in its category.
The tap company turned in a performance of Hair at the Imagine Dance Challenge. They earned 4¾ stars, finished first in their category, and received a special judges award called Hip Hair-ography. A jazz routine called Big Noise earned five stars, first in their category, and sixth place overall in the 12-14 duo/trio division.
The lyrical duo Some Things Are Meant to Be scored five stars, finished first in their category, and took first place overall in the 9-11 duo/trio age division. The judges honored the duo with a special award called And the Oscar Goes To.
Soloist Elley B. performed an open routine called Don’t Rain on My Parade. She earned five stars, first in her category, and first place overall for the 9-11 soloist division. Barbieri received a $100 PowerPak scholarship for her performance.
A contemporary routine entitled Parting Words was performed by Jillian P. She scored five stars and finished sixth overall in the 15-19 age division. She also earned a PowerPak invitation for her performance.
Vivi H. performed a lyrical solo to All That Matters. She received five stars and finished sixth overall in the 12-14 age division. The judges presented her with a special award called Beauty and Grace.
Soloist Emma G. performed two solos for Astra. Her contemporary routine to Mr. Sandman earned five stars, was first in her category, and eighth place overall in the 12-14 age division. Golembeski’s Musical Theatre routine of Money scored five stars and placed first in her category. She was honored with a PowerPak invitation for her performance of Mr. Sandman.
Starbound Regional Competition
On the weekend of Feb. 7-9, students from the Astra Studio of Dance and Performing Arts participated in the Starbound National Talent Competition at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. Astra’s dancers earned three elite golds, which is Starbound’s highest adjudicated award, as well as seven high golds at the competition.
Astra Studio’s first production company performed a large group musical theatre number called Kinky Boots. They were honored with an elite gold, placed eighth in their division, and earned the special Artistic Creative Concept Award.
The Juniors small group jazz routine earned an elite gold with their rendition of Steppin’ to the Bad Side. The Seniors performed a jazz routine called Big Noise and scored a high gold. The tap company brought home a high gold with their performance of Hair.
Two routines were performed for adjudication only. The open/acro routine called Wash Away scored an elite gold, while the lyrical/contemporary routine of Ring Around the Moon earned a high gold. Although they did not qualify for overalls due to competing out of order, both routines earned scores that would have placed them in the top 10 of their divisions.
Soloist Jillian P. claimed a high gold for her contemporary routine Parting Words. Soloist Vivi H. earned a high gold for her lyrical routine All That Matters. Soloist Emma G. competed two routines: a contemporary piece called Mr. Sandman and a musical theatre piece entitled Money. Both routines scored a high gold with Mr. Sandman placing fourth in its division. She qualified to perform in the opening number at Starbound’s Foxwoods Nationals this summer.
Holidays with the Houghs!
Astra Studio is honored to have been featured on the NBC holiday special "Holidays with the Houghs"! The one hour special was hosted by Emmy award-winning choreographers, brother and sister Derek and Julianne Hough. Derek and Julianne Hough have both won "Dancing with the Stars", and are judges on the hit television shows "World of Dance", and "America's Got Talent". The special featured several celebrity guests and dance performances. Over 4.6 million viewers tuned in for the show!
Astra Studio submitted a short video with several dance clips to Kelly Clarkson's song "Underneath the Tree". The entire video was choreographed by Astra's top notch teachers. From this video, two clips were selected and televised as part of the Holiday Dance Wars challenge. There were less than 3 dozen clips shown out of hundreds of video submissions. One of our selected clips received the closing spot in the Holiday Dance Wars segment!
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!
On Thanksgiving Day, four dancers from the Astra Studio of Dance and Performing Arts were honored to perform with the Spirit of America dance team in the 2019 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The students were invited to the performance based on an audition tape that featured several segments of award-winning choreography by Brittany Wigglesworth, the artistic director.
The week-long event was focused around nearly 20 hours of rehearsals. Performers were also able to take in the Broadway show Frozen, see the Rockettes perform in their Christmas Spectacular, visit the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, view the city from One World Observatory, and see the Statue of Liberty from a harbor cruise.
The event culminated with the dancers performing to the Christmas song (Everybody’s Waitin’ for) The Man with the Bag, while welcoming Santa Claus into the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade was televised by NBC.
Dancers and parents agree this was a spectacular week they will never forget. We cannot wait to take more dancers on this once in a lifetime opportunity in the years to come!
Holiday Show at Estuary Center
On Friday, December 27th, students performed their third annual holiday show at the Old Saybrook Estuary Center. Audience members thoroughly enjoyed all the holiday themed routines and students had a blast performing!
Old Saybrook Torch Light Parade
On Saturday, December 14th, several students marched in Old Saybrook's annual Torch Light Parade. This was the fourth year that Astra Students participated in this event. After marching, students went back to the studio for our annual holiday party which included games, snacks, and a holiday movie!
Students Attend NADAA Workshop
On Sunday, November 9th, several Astra students attended the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Arts' workshop in Springfield, MA. Students took classes with industry professionals in ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary. Elleyana B., Emma E., and Jillian P. all received nominations for a scholarship merit award.
Community Day Performance
Astra students had a blast performing on the Old Saybrook town green for Community Day! Students of all ages danced an upbeat jazz routine to "Hot Wings". The dance was very well received after less then an hour of rehearsal. Students and event attendees also enjoyed giant twister sponsored by Astra Studio.
Our students always love performing for the community and are very excited for their next town event!