Erie dance competition lures hundreds

Local News

ERIE, Pa. — Dancers from across the tri-state took over the Bayfront Convention Center on Sunday with more than 350 participants.

Champion Cheer Central hosted Champions of Dance, its first all-dance competition, which featured numerous dance styles.

“One group will do several styles of dance,” said Heather Petz, president of Champion Cheer Central. “So, they’ll come out and do a tap routine, a lyrical routine and then a pom routine.”

The routines require some quick changes.

“They’re really flipping clothes back there and changing very quickly, doing their costume changes, and coming back onto the floor,” she added.

Kylee Battles, a dancer of Hilltop Studio 83 in Meadville, performed tap, contemporary, and hip-hop dance.

“It’s so cool to have such a local event in the Erie area and not traveling all over. It’s really cool to have stuff like this locally,” said Battles.

The company wanted to highlight dancing, including all-star and studio dance categories, according to Heather Petz, president and co-owner of Champion Cheer Central.

“We have dance at all of our other events, but sometimes the focus ends up more on cheer than dance,” said Petz. This way, those teams that sort of get: ‘well, we’re at a cheer event, but we also have dance.’ They get to be focused on completely today.”

The dancers can show off their athleticism and artistry.

“I think I like the rush the most,” said Rachael Goodrich, a dancer of Infinity Dance Academy in Fredonia, New York. “You get to connect with people and you can touch people that you don’t know that you do, but it helps.”

Champion Cheer Central will host the Lake Erie Cheer and Dance National Championships on Sunday, April 9 at the Erie Insurance Arena.

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