Dancers strike gold, platinum in Myrtle Beach

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 29, 2005

At the Kingston Plantation in Myrtle Beach June 25, the Dynamic Movements dance team of Suffolk put on a show at the National Dancers Spotlight. Actually, they put on many.

With the strands of Hungarian music wafting through the air and mixing with the cheers of her teammates, Carmen Schoenster, 11, spun through a ballet solo and grabbed a High Gold (second place; in dancing competition, platinums are first, High Golds second and Golds third). Mere minutes later, she went one step higher in tap solo, snaring a platinum.

Her sister Catherine, 10, kept things going, jazzing to Hilary Duff's "The Girl Can Rock," for another High Gold.

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"The song describes me," she said. "Jazz is faster than ballet; there's more energy and spirit, and you're not flapping your feet."

Taking on the rest of the East Coast's top dancers in age 9-11, 12-14 and 15-17 age group solo battles, Tara Muth, 13, used Linkin Park's "My December" to bring home a High Gold in lyrical dance, and Sammi Wyatt, 13, sang "Daddy's Hands," for a song/dance High Gold. Then she took a platinum in Open competition, doing a jazz/gymnastics routine to "Brave Girl."

Avery Pittman became the second Movementer to win a lyrical title, as the Nansemond-Suffolk Academy student, 16, got a platinum with the help of Jessica Simpson's "Take My Breath Away." Then Christie Whitener, 15, won a jazz High Gold with "One Thing Missing." Kourtney Timm became the final local dancer to win an individual award, snaring a High Gold in choreography with her rendition of "Black Velvet."

Now the kids teamed up to compete, as the Schoenster sisters won a High Gold to "She Will Be Loved."

"You know you have another person with you," Catherine said, "and you can't bang into them, but you can't look at them. You have to be together and be on the beat or it won't work."

After Kourtney and Carmen McCarthy won a High Gold to "She Will Be Loved, the Schonesters teamed with Marissa Wyatt for a High Gold in trio dancing to "Candy." Avery, Christie and Sammi followed suit to Jennifer Lopez's "Get Right."

"In a solo, there's less pressure, because if you mess up, you can make it up as you go" Avery said, "but in trio, if you mess up, you and the judges can tell. You have to practice and know your routine."

Finally, it was time for nearly the entire squad to hit the floor. Larger groups of girls won High Golds in team dancing to "Pour Sugar on Me," "Hot, Hot, Hot" and "Breakaway," a gold to Christina Aguilera's "Fighter," and a platinum for "No Business Like Show Business."

"Team dancing is easier," Christie said, "because everyone's not looking at you. There's not much pressure. You can look at the person next to you and remember what you're supposed to do. I had to do that a few times."

In totality, the group brought home 18 trophies and got the Judge's Choice award from two of the three judges.

On Aug. 6, the group will give a more accessible performance; they'll show their stuff at a health fair at Mack Benn Elementary School.