Victorious is a word that best describes Thomas Nelson’s Ballroom Dance Team this year. The talented squad competed throughout the east coast logging hefty mileage and netting 104 awards. Of those, many were top honors.
“We traveled over 3,000 miles and performed in over 90 events between the College and the public events,” said Pamela Roberts, the team’s advisor.
The dancers took their final bow for 2018-19 at the National Bam Jam on April 20 at the University of Maryland. Thomas Nelson’s was among over 30 collegiate teams at the event which saw roughly 500 competitors, according to Roberts.
The triumphant group won 25 awards including five first places, two second, three third, nine fourth, five fifth, and one seventh-place. The winning performances wowed Roberts.
“(We’re) especially proud of our newest team members - Nigel Allen, Melaku Astatike, Elizabeth Yimmer and Jamaya Worrell. This was their first big competition and collectively they won three firsts, two seconds, one third- and one fourth-place,” she said.
Also notable during the April 20 contest were Tiarra Johnson and D’Aundre Seldon, who took fourth place overall in the Silver American Rhythm Division, and J.D. Ellis (co-captain) and Charis Hutton taking fourth place overall in the Silver International Latin Samba and Jive Division. In another first, Ryan Maloney and Abigail Bogin won fourth-place overall for Waltz and Foxtrot in Bronze Smooth Division.
Before its solid showing at Bam Jam, the team competed in the River City Challenge in Richmond on April 6. They faced competitors from dance studios across the east coast, and won nearly 40 individual awards.
River City Challenge highlights:
- Grand Champion International Latin Newcomer Division: J.D. Ellis and Sierra Ferrell
- Grand Champion International Latin Bronze Division: Tiara Johnson and Faizon Alexander (co-captain)
- Grand Champion International Latin Silver Division: Charis Hutton and J.D. Ellis
- 30 first places, five second places and four third places.
BALLROOM DANCE TEAM - Jamaya Worrell, Sierra Ferrell, Advisor Pam Roberts and Coaches Riccardo Paccini and Sonia Spadoni, Charis Hutton, J.D. Ellis, Tiarra Johnson, Elizabeth Yimmer, Melaku Astatike, Nigel Allen and Faizon Alexander. Not pictured: Ryan Maloney, Abigail Bogin and Assistant Coach D’Aundre Seldon