The top 41 performers of Dance Theatre, encompassing 3 South Florida counties, make up the competition team, embarking the long-awaited journey to the Imagine Dance National Championship this week.
PARKLAND, FL – The Dance Theatre Xtreme Team or DTX as it is known in the industry, is heading to Nashville from June 17-21 and hopes to take home some national championship titles this year. 2020 was a very unique year for everyone at Dance Theatre. With all of the COVID-19 restrictions, keeping the facilities open was a challenge. Ingenuity by the company’s Director, Michelle Gerlick, kept the doors open at Dance Theatre. That enabled the dancers to stay busy and continue to progress and it also kept the teachers working. DTX was persevered and the performers have pushed through adversity never seen before and are ready for national competition.
Danielle Mednick, DTX Director said, “We endured so much change, but Michelle made sure to keep her teachers working and the students with a place to call home. Dancing in Zoom meetings - a time period we never thought we’d see; kids would dance all over their house, pets would sit right in front of the screen, the girls would rearrange furniture and sometimes ruin it, but we all learned to embrace this change.” Mandatory masks, temperature monitoring, sanitizer and high-tech air filtration systems allowed the girls to return to the studio, with none contracting COVID in the facilities.
The DTX team wrapped up 3 regional competitions in South Florida last month, then went on to perform in 6 recitals, which meant 12-hour days for the dancers. PCR test results in hand allowed groups to dance without a mask for the first time in a year. While still continuing school, the DTX team completed 18 hours of Nationals rehearsal plus 30 hours of intensives with Danielle Mednick.
This competition brings a bittersweet ending for Madison Brian, Kamryn Federico, Kayla Wedin and Sydney Walker – all high school seniors who will be competing for the last time in Nashville. They are joined, in spirit, by Jaime Guttenberg, a former team member who passed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting in 2018. The team members always wear an orange ribbon to honor their fallen sister.
Dance Theatre is led by its founder, Michelle Gerlick; a dancer since the age of 3, who was a Fly Girl on the television show, ‘In Living Color’ and former Miami Heat dancer. DTX is led by Choreographer, Danielle Mednick, a performer for more than 27 years and recipient of the prestigious Alvin Ailey Scholarship in New York City. Dance Theatre employs 50 instructors in 6 locations in South Florida and boasts 2000 student dancers.