Twenty-two dancers from Dance 4 Him Studio competed from Feb. 8 through Feb. 10 at the Showbiz National Talent Competition, where they stood out from the rest of the performers, studio founder Kim Cumiford said.
"(The judges) even mentioned what a bright light we were," Cumiford said. "The crowd really responded. Our dancers do encourage people. We were so different. We really tried to tell a story with every dance and I think the crowd saw that."
Sydney Jones, 14, took the Miss Showbiz award, the top solo award for any solo in the teen age group, Cumiford said. Hope Worth, 17, was a runner up in the senior age group.
The studio received two out of the five choreography awards and best costume and was recognized by judges as most inspirational.
"The dancers (in the competition) are mostly coming from Albuquerque and bigger cities," Cumiford said. "I felt like our group displayed so much class and elegance. The (costume) trend today is mostly rhinestone bras and booty shorts. I'm not kidding. The judges were commenting on how genuinely happy and sincere our girls were and how good our technique was."
But for Cumiford and her dancers, the competition was about far more than taking home awards.
"For us, the goal really is to be different, to be a light," she said.
For Shelly Jones and her two daughters — Jessica, 15 and Danielle, 14 — competitions like Showbiz have enriched their daily lives.
"The judges were fair and helpful," Jones said. "I think (performing) has really just helped boost confidence. One of my daughters is shy and it's helped her."
Cumiford and her husband, Les, founded Dance 4 Him Studio in 2002 to provide classical and contemporary dance training in a Christian environment.
For more information about the studio, visit www.dance4him.com.