EDISON, NJ - With a competition name like "Showstoppers," the audience naturally expected to see some good dancing at the Raritan Expo Center in Edison in late April.
However, it was Bridgewater's Empire Dance Studio's competition team - Dynasty - that competely stole the show.
Competing against two dozen other studios from throughout the Northeast and from as far as Canada in this three-day competition, Dynasty once again proved it ranks among the very best in the dance world.
The team's group dances, both small and large. dominated the awards, consistently scoring in the top 10 in their age categories with several dances awarded the coveted Crystal Award and taking first place overall. "Party Rock", an 8-year-old and under hip hop/funk number; "California Girls", an 8 year-old and under open number; "No More Mr. Nice Guy", a 12-14 year old all-boys open number; "Smothered", a 16-18 Lyrical dance; and "Outta Your Mind," the full team's Hip Hop Line dance, all took home top prizes and wowed both the judges and spectactors alike.
Not to be outdone, "Pure Imagination", an 8-year-old and under lyrical/jazz number and "God Bless America", a Lyrical Line number, both nabbed second place overall wins, while "Jungle Freaks" a 16-18 year old large group acro/open number, and "Disney Mania," a Musical Theater tribute to Walt Disney, took home third place overall wins.
"These dancers never cease to amaze me," said Jennifer Russo, studio and competition team director. "Every time I think I've seen them at their best, they simply shatter my expectations once again."
The team's solos and duos also continued to shine, with many ranking in the top 10 overall spots in their respective age categories. And, if they didn't make the top 10, the remaining solos and duos placed in the top third against all other dances.
"Whether they stand alone or together on stage, Dynasty members stand out," said studio owner Michael Cuomo. "Their performance this weekend was both humbling and exhilarating. I can't wait to see what the rest of the season brings."
The team is comprised of dancers from Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Somerville and surrounding areas.