New Castle News


June 4, 2013

Television: Local students to appear on ‘Dance Moms’ tonight

NEW CASTLE — Ludovici Dance Academy will appear on “Dance Moms” at 8 p.m. Tuesday on the Lifetime network.

“Dance Moms” is a reality series that focuses on the Abby Lee Dance Co. in Pittsburgh. Ludovici was invited to participate in the Dance Moms competition held in March. This event is featured in Tuesday’s episode, “Masters of Dance.”

Ludovici director Kelli Grady has known Abby Lee Miller for more than 15 years through her dancers attending several competitions with the Abby Miller Dance Company.

The Ludovici competition dancers were notified the week of the competition itself and had only a few days to prepare. Ludovici dancers took soloists, duets and group pieces to the competition event. Soloists included Junior Dancers Julia Hester, Kassie Sopko, Emily Eckert, Hailee Sipe, Kelsey Grady, Alyssa Hunt, Allison Kuhn and Gabrielle Bartle. Teen Division soloists were Cassidy Grady and Emily Kwolek. Senior division soloists were Taylor Ashton, Dannin McClenahan and Miranda Nichols.

All soloist dancers were in competition with Abby Lee soloists as well as Candy Apple (boy) soloist dancers. Two duets were performed by Ludovici, including “For my Sister” (danced by Dannin McClenahan and her sister, Emily Eckert) and “Tonight” (danced by Dannin McClenahan and Emily Kwolek).

Most numbers that were included in the competition event were junior groups including: “Dance of the Imagination” a pointe/ballet piece danced by Olivia Orrico, Emily Eckert, Julia Hester, Kassie Sopko, Kelsey Grady; “Some Thing Better than This,” a musical theater piece danced by Gabrielle Bartle, Hailee Sipe, Kaylee Booker, Annalise Ginochi, Allison Kuhn; and “Breaking Out of the Box” a contemporary piece danced by Cassidy Grady, Julia Hester, Alexis Cain, Kassie Sopko, Emily Eckert, Alyssa Hunt, Kelsey Grady.

Teen Division performed “Come Down to the River,” a contemporary number (dancers Danni McClenahan, Emily Kwolek, Anastasia Bruno, Megan Duddy, Abbey Briggs, Taylor Rand, Rachel Miloser, Julia Pozzuto, Kassie Sopko). They also were asked to bring a Teen Small group piece, but were not able to bring the dancers in those pieces because of the short notice.

Instead, a group of five Ludovici teen dancers choreographed their own piece just to compete at the event. The dancers were Taylor Ashton, Dannin McClenahan, Emily Kwolek, Caroline Orrico, and Cassidy Grady. The five dancers choreographed and performed the piece for the competition within a three-day period. The piece was a lyrical number, “Natural Woman.”

The competition event included groups, solos, duets, and trios by Abbey Lee Miller Dance Company, Candy Apples and other studios from Ohio and Pennsylvania. Official results will not be released until the show airs Tuesday.

If you’re watching the show, keep an eye on the line of the “Overall Top Scoring” groups, duets and soloists. Ludo jackets are black and hot pink. They also were sitting right next to the Abby Lee dancers during the awards ceremony.


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