Dance Express brings home hardware

Photo submitted to Times Observer Molly Dies Dance Express includes, from left, in frobnt, Emelyn Moore, Rocco Siliano, Izzy McMonigal, Noel Alexander, Charleigh Archuleta, Anna Courson, Jordan Young, Abby Gens, Lettie Pearson, Shayleigh Albaugh, and Julia Getner; middle row: Lara Pearson, Sarah Tome, Grayce Thomas, Casey Walters-Snook, Ashley Hoffman, Emily Ickert, Sarah Hoffman, Ella Solberg, Josie Pearson, Mara Dussia; and, back row: Hannah Augenstein, Ashley Stanton, Scottlyn Barr, Jillian Funari, Emma Darling, Rachel Dietsch, Rachael Courson, and Paige Rafalski.

Molly Dies’ Dance Express Company returned home with another very successful dance competition weekend.

Legacy Dance Challenge, held at DeYOR’s Performing Arts Center in Youngstown, Ohio, set the stage where MDDE was awarded 15 Platinum and 12 Elite Gold medals and many other special awards and overalls.

Jillian Funari received 1st overall Senior Soloists and the special judge’s award of “Exquisite Technique” for her Jazz solo;

Rachael Courson received a special judge’s award of “Excellent Movement Quality” for her Lyrical solo along with 1st overall Teen Soloists (out of 50 entries); Rocco Siliano received “Sophisticated Style” special judge’s award for his Tap solo; Casey Walters-Snook received the “Showmanship” special judge’s award for her Musical Theatre solo; Grayce Thomas received “Performance Plus” special judge’s award for her Jazz solo; and Emma Darling & Jillian Funari received “True Characters” special judge’s award for their Character duet along with 1st overall Senior Duet/Trio for their Lyrical Duet.

Elite Team Jazz, “Together Again” choreographed by Molly Dies, received 1st overall Teen Intermediate Large Group and “Fantastic Showmanship” special judge’s award; Junior Team Lyrical “Don’t Let Me Fall” choreographed by Molly Dies received 1st overall Junior Novice Large Group and “Genuine Connection” special judge’s award; Mini Team Tap, “Little Bitty Pretty One” choreographed by Carly Davies received 1st overall Petite Novice Small Group.

The most honorable award of the weekend, “Sportsmanship Award,” was awarded to the MDDE Team for their kindness, professionalism, and standing to applaud overall winners at each award ceremony — “a genuinely classy group of young dancers” said the Master of Ceremony.

“The dedication, desire, and discipline these dancers display are what keeps ME going!” said Molly Dies, Company Director.

She added, “The passion they present is refreshing and come upon by hard work and strong discipline which is the values that are instilled in them at home and here at the studio.”

Elite Team Members: Hannah Augenstein, Scottlyn Barr, Rachael Courson, Emma Darling, Rachel Dietsch, Jillian Funari, Ashley Hoffman, Sarah Hoffman, Emily Ickert, Paige Rafalski, Ashley Stanton, Grayce Thomas, Casey Walters-Snook; Junior Team Members: Shayleigh Albaugh, Noel Alexander, Charleigh Archuleta, Anna Courson, Abby Gens, Izzy McMonigal, Lettie Pearson, Rocco Siliano, Ella Solberg, Sarah Tome, Jordan Young; Mini Team Members: Mara Dussia, Julia Getner, Emelyn Moore, Josie Pearson, Lara Pearson; Choreographers: Molly Dies, Carly Davies, Laura Sears-Baldesnperger, Madison Hogan, Carrie Pearson, & Sarah Dietsch.

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