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Artists JUST DANCE in hopes of winning $500 grand prize

October 05, 2012|By DON AINES | dona@herald-mail.com
  • Angeline Mendez, 15, of Hagerstown, performs at the JUST DANCE competition Friday evening at Valley Mall
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

HALFWAY — Nine teen dancers busted their best moves Friday night at Valley Mall in the auditions for the second annual JUST DANCE competition, hoping to pick up the $500 grand prize in the finals set for later this month.

There were a lot more dancers than the six individuals and trio that took the concourse stage, but the others did it just for fun before an appreciative crowd of family, friends and shoppers that ringed the venue a few rows deep.

Rahmeik “Bamn-Bamn” Venable, a North Hagerstown High School graduate, performed what was probably the most daring move of the night, a back flip off the stage that did not end with an ambulance ride.

“I was so nervous,” said 15-year-old Angeline Mendez, though it didn’t show on stage.

“I started dancing last year when I got into Barbara Ingram (School for the Arts). This is all new,” Mendez said. “This was my first competition.”

Heather and Hope Gayle and Cherice Washington, all from West Virginia, were 1 Luv.

“We’ve actually performed this audition piece a couple of times before,” said Heather, 18, who appeared on the first season of “The X-Factor” as a singer. For the finals, they are working on a new routine “which is about making a change and inspiring young folks to go out and make a difference, especially to vote,” she said.

The other performers were Sierra Saunders, Kenny Catchings, Crystal McLeod and Charles Vitug. The contest was for dancers ages 13 to 18.

The judges were HMTV6 News Director Raychel Harvey-Jones; Mini Heisler, who has judged dance competitions for Bollywood and Sony; Valley Mall Marketing Director Michele Wills; and dance teacher Toby Towson.

Towson, the first full-time dance teacher in the county, took to the stage to perform an alphabet dance, somewhat like “YMCA,” but with 22 more letters.

The JUST DANCE Contest will be Friday, Oct. 19, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the JUST TEENS event at Valley Mall presented by Teens Have Choices and the Washington County Free Library, said Delissa Key, circulation director for the library system.

This year’s auditions drew several more performers than last year, Key said.

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