Talented LaBelle Youth attend Tremaine Dance Convention

Posted 12/6/19

(Submitted photo) Sarina Wingard and Regina Rojas attend the Tremaine Dance Convention in Orlando. Residents of LaBelle, and students of The Dance Company, Sarina Wingard, age 10, and Regina Rojas, …

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Talented LaBelle Youth attend Tremaine Dance Convention

(Submitted photo) Sarina Wingard and Regina Rojas attend the Tremaine Dance Convention in Orlando.

Residents of LaBelle, and students of The Dance Company, Sarina Wingard, age 10, and Regina Rojas, age 11, were among the talented young dancers who attended the Tremaine Dance Convention, recently held in Orlando. Tremaine Dance Conventions are led by dance industry pioneer, Joe Tremaine, and have become a well-known opportunity for young dancers to learn and perfect technique in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Fusion Jazz, Musical Theatre, Tap, Hip Hop, and Street, under the instruction of professional master dance teachers.

These young girls both have a passion for dance, and have been dancing since they were toddlers. “My mom used to dance and she thought I would enjoy it so she took me to the Happy Feet class at the dance company. And I just kind of fell in love with it. I’ve tried other things and they’re fun but it’s not the same as dancing. Dance is something you learn that you can use as long as you want to,” explains Sarina. “Regina and I both take ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop. I like to practice fusion at home, mixing up styles together.”

Regina and Sarina are unschooled, a unique style of homeschooling, which allows them a little more time to pursue their hobbies while learning. Hobbies which include, “Dancing, all kinds of music. I have a piano and Regina and I are taking dulcimer lessons. I also like to swim and go to the beach and be outside,” says Sarina.

They practice dance 3-4 days a week for an hour or more, Regina says, “I just like doing it. I like spending time with the friends I’ve made there.”

“We have classes three days a week but I always practice at home and I dance all over the house for hours almost every day,” says Sarina, who aspires to become a professional dancer and work, ”in theater and dance in production or makeup.” She explains why she is so drawn to dance, “It just feels like an escape from reality and its a way to show emotions without speaking. And dance has taken me places where I’ve met and watched really talented people. It’s a good way to keep healthy and to make friends.”

Their least favorite part of it all? With a sense of humor, Sarina replies, “My mom told me that if I can’t say anything nice I shouldn’t say anything at all. Seriously, sometimes I’m really sore and tired and it can feel like you’re just doing the same thing over and over.” But she presses on, her love of dance running strong, and inspired by her dance teachers, “Melissa White and Tiffany Taylor at the Dance Company,” and dancers like, “Meghan Sanett, Dee Glazer and Tony Bellissimo, of course.”

Regarding the convention, Regina says, “It was fun and fancy! The ballrooms were huge and had so many chandeliers,” saying the experience taught her, “To never give up and keep practicing!” Sarina reports, “It was terrifying but awesome. We’re in a room with professional dancers. Not just the teachers that come in, but kids our age. Everything is a challenge, but you can get there with confidence and support.”

Next up for Sarina, “Pointe shoes. I have a lot of work to do, but I’ll get there and it’s going to be amazing,” adding, “I feel strong when I dance. I like feeling good about myself and what I can do. You have to work and be really dedicated to what you want. Nobody is going to hand it to you. You don’t just show up for class, you have to bring that attitude that you’re there to learn.”

When asked if they’d like to thank anyone, Sarina responded, “My mother, she makes it all happen for us, and the Dance Company for including us. My dad and grandpa and Nana, (Kenny and Bill Wingard, Becky Rhodes), my sister Christina and my brother James who is “dance bro” #1!”

Regina would like to thank, “The Dance Company, Miss Myrtice, Miss Tiffany, and Miss Melissa, Nonny (my grandmother, Jennifer Wingard), Papaw (my grandfather, Kenny Wingard) and Grandpa (Bill Wingard).”

Both girls are excited to be performing in the Dance Company’s 11th Annual Christmas Showcase this weekend.

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