Dance Connection’s Dancer of the Year

Dance Connection’s Dancer of the Year winners from the Rainbow Dance Competition Regionals in Colorado Springs on February 7-9. Pictured top (L-R) is Senior Dancer of the Year Sofia Sinda and Teen Dancer of the Year Kylie Wilson, and bottom (L-R) is Mini Dancer of the Year Reagan Herrera and Petite Dancer of the Year Bentlee Brown.

Dance Connection’s annual spring recital would have been this past Saturday, but obviously a pandemic has put any thoughts of a recital on hold.

 “We’ve been closed since March,” said studio director and owner Deb Chongway. “It is kind of sad. Our spring recital would have been this Saturday. Not to do that and to have to do these things that are important is hard. The kids normally do two recitals a year and they work super hard on them. We’re waiting it out and working with the health department. Obviously the kids are devastated, but I’m hoping we can maybe open in June and reschedule the recital for July, or August.”

Keeping the distance, especially for dancers and children has been a challenge and has also been hard on the instructors that work with them.

Said Chongway, “The kids miss their friends and being able to socialize and it’s been hard on everyone. And I don’t get to see them…”

Yet prior to the recent shutdown, there was reason to celebrate at Dance Connection after the small Trinidad studio traveled north to Colorado Springs in early February to take part in the Rainbow Dance Competition Regionals. There, dancers from the studio recorded high marks and many awards.

“Dancers received many ‘double platinums’ (one of the highest awards), ‘platinums’ and ‘high golds’ awarded to us,” said Chongway. “We took about 60-plus kids. We take a large group every year, but that usually means we take about 32 members. When we compete, it’s the majority of the studio.”

The studio’s group routines received seven overall places and also captured two special awards. The studio earned the Judges Choice Award for a gymnastics routine called “Freedom Hymn” and earned Most Entertaining Number for the musical theatre routine “Train Ride to Hollywood,” which was choreographed by Kasey Fredericks.

Said Chongway, “They did amazing. Every year we are pleasantly surprised how our small studio from Trinidad does against Denver, (Colorado) Springs, Pueblo. They always hold their own. They really work hard and represent Trinidad well. They won the award for ‘most entertaining number’ and with that award they are up against every other team there. There are 200-plus teams a they were regarded as the most entertaining number there.”

Special awards earned by Dance Connection

Rainbow Dance Competition Regionals, Colorado Springs


Ages 5 and under:

Reagan Herrera — first overall

Dakota Mascarenas — second overall

Mini Dancer of the Year winner: Reagan Herrera

Mini Dance of the Year finalist:

        Dakota Mascarenas

Ages 6-8:

Bentlee Brown — first overall

Kennedy Herrera — fifth overall

Belle Medina — sixth overall

Petite Dancer of the Year winner: Bentlee Brown

Petite Dancer of the Year finalists:

    Kennedy Herrera and Belle Medina

Ages 9-11:

Kaylee Walton — fourth overall

Ages 12-14:

Kylie Wilson — first overall

Laura Jo Borrego — sixth overall

Teen Dancer of the Year winner: Kylie Wilson

Ages 15-19:

Makinnley Davis — first overall

Sofia Sinda — second overall

Senior Dancer of the Year winner: Sofia Sinda



Ages 5 and under:

Kennedy and Reagan Herrera — first overall

Ages 12-14:

Averi Scheels and Sofia Sinda — First overall

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