From left, Micaylah Cavanaugh, Ashley Akins and Shelby Steele practice on Tuesday with their dance team at the Force AllStarz dance studio in Farmington.
From left, Micaylah Cavanaugh, Ashley Akins and Shelby Steele practice on Tuesday with their dance team at the Force AllStarz dance studio in Farmington. (Jon Austria / The Daily Times)

FARMINGTON — The walls of the Danz Force dance studio in Farmington are decorated with rows of hundreds of trophies.

A table near one of the walls holds about 25 trophies — all awards the studio's teams have won this year.

"As we get them for the season, we put them on the table," said the studio's owner, Sheila Mobley.

Among the trophies on the table are ones The Force AllStarz teams took home on April 12 and 13 from the American Championship Showcase in Anaheim, Calif. The studio took 72 students to the competition. The youngest team, Little Dippers, won national championships in jazz and pom and earned second place in hip-hop.

Stephanie Parker, at center, and her teammates practice their routine on Tuesday at the Force AllStarz dance studio in Farmington.
Stephanie Parker, at center, and her teammates practice their routine on Tuesday at the Force AllStarz dance studio in Farmington. (Jon Austria /The Daily Times)

Mobley said competing in California's largest dance competition gave her students the opportunity to see a variety of other styles of hip-hop, jazz and pom dancing.

"They got to see a whole different aspect of the dance world," she said.

Tiana Winer, 14, said seeing different dancers was her favorite part of the competition.

Force AllStarz starts its season in August and competes four to six times each year.

Mobley said her studio is different because the instructors don't teach students tap or ballet. Instead, the studio teaches pom, hip-hop, jazz, gymnastics and cheerleading. Over the last 20 years, the studio has gained a reputation as being competitive, she said.

"All that we want is for the kids to have fun with what they do and to be proud of what they've accomplished," she said.

Because of that, the studio does not hold try-outs or require dancers to have any previous experience.

Shelby Steele, 12, said being a member of Force AllStarz's Cosmos team has given her more friends.

Of the entire Cosmos team, only Steele and Abigail Carley, 13, attend the same school, so the girls interact with students from throughout San Juan County.

Micaylah Cavanaugh, 13, started as a gymnast at the studio before joining the Cosmos team.

"I just loved coming in and seeing the dancers do all those cool things," she said.

She said she looked at the trophies the dance teams won and knew she wanted to be part of that.

Every time the team receives a trophy, Cavanaugh said a group of students from the studio waits until the awards ceremony to receive their trophy, instead of leaving after they are done with their routines.

"If you go up and get the trophy, it's like, 'This is for us. We did this for our team,'" she said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.