Dancers achieve royal recognition

By Melanie Ruberti

June 25, 2014

For more than a year, six local dancers perfected their poise and technique to gain special recognition from high ranking ballet professionals

And much to their ballet teacher’s delight, all six earned top honors from the Royal Academy of Dance.

“I was really excited,” said Miriam Oropeza, a professional ballet dancer and teacher.” All of them passed, so I feel happy.”

The girls are taught by Oropeza at Petite Ballet, held inside the Troup County Parks and Recreation facility. She said in order to prepare for the exam the dancers had to learn four dance variations, not knowing which one the judges would pick for them to preform.

This past March, the dancers drove to Atlanta to show off their skills in front of officials with the Royal Academy of Dance. Oropeza said the girls were judged for musicality, dance, interpretation, ballet technique, and more. All six dancers were awarded top honors: three received silver medals in the advanced class, 1 received a silver medal in low level dance, and in the primary dance class, one girl received a silver medal, the other girl a bronze.

On Tuesday night, Oropeza handed out the awards during a special ceremony. The winners are: 16 year old Alisha Schneider, 15 year old Ashley Juarez, 13 year old Dawn Kamphaus, 9 year old Jamiya McCoy, 8 year old Savannah Farrell, and 5 year old Sydney Snyder.

In addition to the medals, all six girls will receive an official certificate from the Royal Academy of Dance, which is taught 79 countries world wide and is certified by Queen Elizabeth. An official seal is placed at the bottom of the award, which contains each girls dance information and any honors they receive for their skills and performance. It’s like a dancers resume, should they switch to another ballet company.

Last year alone, more than 230,000 dancers worldwide performed for officials with the Royal Academy of Dance, hoping to achieve an award within their dance class.