By: Michele DiPasquale
There are more than a few dance schools in Morris County, but NJ Dance & Show Performing Arts – formerly of Mt. Olive and now in Budd Lake – has taken the art and commitment of dance to compete overseas to the South American city of Encarnacion, Paraguay.
On July 6 and 7, the NJ Dance & Show team represented the USA and competed against dancers from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Paraguay. Remarkably, all the dancers were privileged to share a stage and share their culture through the art of dance.
“It was a very beautiful experience for us because our dance team got to see the different forms of contemporary, jazz, ballet, and folk dancing that these countries presented, including us! That was definitely a great experience,” said Carolina Baez, Director of NJD&S.
The South American competition celebrated its 18th year this past July. The group of dancers from NJD&S included Dayanara Aquino, Sofia DiSessa, Andrea DiSessa, Sophia Nunez, Emily Vilagra, and Valery Valenzuela who presented a total of 21 dances between jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, and folk, all of them with great results, scholarships, and recognition.
Apart from the competition, the students were invited to radio and tv shows in Encarnación to share their experiences as young American dancers carrying on the culture of their parents by way of the Paraguayan folk dance.
“I personally really enjoyed this trip because not only did I get to bond with my team but I also got to experience how there are so many forms of dance around the world, and I definitely gained a lot more respect for the art of dance,” shared NJD&S student, Dayanara Aquino.
“Folk dance is a very important part of the Paraguayan culture, so seeing my daughter, along with her talented teammates, carry on the culture of our beautiful country was very heartwarming,” parent Nidia Cabrera said.
After the competition, everyone at NJ Dance & Show returned to Morris County and are taking their summer break but will soon be preparing to return for the fall season.
NJ Dance & Show stands out from other dance studios because it offers a complete program for young dancers. NJD&S strives to provide a positive atmosphere to introduce students to musicality, technique, and artistic expression in a small class setting.
NJ Dance & Show Performing Arts has been dancing for 10 years. Jazz, Ballet, Tap, and Paraguayan Folk, either recreational, competitive, or both, are offered at the school. Their journey began in Bernardsville, then to dance studios in Chester, Basking Ridge, and finally, Budd Lake. Students of the dance group come from Basking Ridge, Long Valley, Bernardsville, Florham Park, and Budd Lake, mostly.
The art of dance and the dedication thereto offers more than just a way toward superior physical health; it’s also a way to learn dedication, commitment, and the art of physical expression through dance.
“Our goal as a dance studio is to provide a positive atmosphere to introduce our students to musicality, technique, and artistic expression in a small class setting,” shared Director Baez.
“We stress the importance of dancers to be the best they can be on their own level. Dance is an individual art form and all students learn at their own pace. Our programs prepare students for success both in the dance studio and in life,” Director Baez said.
NJD&S proclaims that their specialty is creating smaller classes in which the teacher and the student can work closely together in order to expand each student’s skill set.
Everyone at NJ Dance & Show invites all those interested to become a part of their dance group. Their very inclusive dance team includes a diverse set of students that range from different cultural backgrounds and ages. NJD&S wishes to expand their team so anyone is welcome to come out and watch practices and/or performances or stop by the studio for any information if they are interested.