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Live 2 dance

Students rock Florida competition
  • Live 2 Dance studio owner Nonny Cartwright, seated, with her jazz group that achieved a high gold medal and judge's choice award for 'Well Rehearsed". From left, Daniella Macre, Christa Russell, Charlotte Nevins, Cartwright, Jacob Cartwright, Beth Macre and Stemarciae 'Suggy' Bain. NONNY CARTWRIGHT

Guardian Lifestyles Editor

Published: May 17, 2013

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They may not have the years of dance experience as many of the kids that they went up against, but for six kids from The Bahamas and Nonny Cartwright’s Live 2 Dance studio, their results at a recent international competition have shown them that they are on par with their counterparts. And that if dance is something they want to do with their lives, the opportunity is there to do it.

Stemarciae ‘Suggy’ Bain, Daniella Macre, Beth Macre, Jacob Cartwright, Charlotte Nevins and Christa Russell who range between ages of seven through 12, returned home with an armload of awards from the Star Quest dance competition in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, at the Broward Community College.

Jacob and Beth’s tap duet in the age seven category, earned them the highest honor of the group — a platinum award. The judges also awarded the duo the Prom King and Queen award. Jacob and Beth also achieved third place overall of all the duets and trios in their division. And they weren’t finished yet, they also carted home a Fusion award, which is awarded to the routine the judges feel had the overall best fusion of choreography, technical execution, articulation, musicality, costume and performance quality.

The six-man group performed a jazz dance together and achieved a high gold award. They were also awarded a judges choice award for the most well rehearsed routine. The tap group achieved a high gold award as well as fifth place overall finish in their age division of more than 100 groups.

Daniella’s jazz solo performance achieved her a high gold award. She was given the judges choice award for “Born To Dance” as well. Christa performed a tap solo and also received a high gold. She placed 10th overall in her division of over 150 kids.

Cartwright, the owner of Live 2 Dance and her students shed tears as the results rolled in. They went to the competition thinking they would do okay, but they did not expect to do as well as they did.

“We were all completely shocked,” said Cartwright of the results. “To see them (students) crying with tears of joy … they were ecstatic.”

Cartwright’s main goal in taking the children to the competition was to expose them to the wider world of dance and to show them that it’s an art that is supported.

“Everyone wants their child to have a more secure job, so my goal with the kids was to have them go away and see there are so many other people that are trying to achieve the dream of becoming a professional dancer. I found a competition I felt I could take them to and they would be able to compete in a friendly environment and make friends in the dance community and be exposed to other dancers and be inspired by them. Since I’ve only been open since September 2011, my kids haven’t had a whole lot of training under their belt, so it was a way for them to see other dancers that have been training for several years and become inspired,” she said.

Cartwright chose the six students for the competition because she felt they could handle her being tough with them considering the short amount of time in which they had to prepare for the competition, as compared to them just going to class and doing their normal class routines.

“I knew I could really push these six, and they wouldn’t get upset if I yelled at them and that type of thing,” she said.

The dance instructor is hoping the showing by this group inspires their peers at the studio to work just as hard so that they too can be in the group.

The points the students received at the Star Quest competition was more than enough to get them an invitation to the World Finals in Virginia Beach, Virginia, July 14-21. At World Finals they will perform the same routines again, but the competition will be tougher at that level.

“They understand that and are ready and willing to go and give it their best shot,” said Cartwright.

After taking six of her students off to an international competition and seeing them do well, words almost failed her.

“The way that I feel now being able to watch my students go on stage and perform what they’ve learned from me … nothing can compare to that on any level. It’s absolutely the best feeling I’ve ever had,” she said.

The Live 2 Dance students will perform their end-of-year recital on June 15 at the Rainforest Theatre at the Wyndham. After that they will step up their training daily in preparation for the Virginia competition.

And Cartwright herself knows exactly what it takes to make it in the world of dance. She started dancing at the age of three in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, dancing throughout high school and earning a bachelor’s degree in dance from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She moved to Los Angeles where she achieved success. She’s danced in the Austin Powers

movies; danced in commercials for Taco Bell, Gap and American Express. She also did Lou Bega’s “Mambo Number 5.” But she says her biggest achievement was being signed on as the full-time choreographer for American pop star Aaron Carter. Cartwright began dancing on tour for Carter when he was nine years old. By the time he was 11, she was signed on as his full-time choreographer and choreographed three of his world tours and all of the music videos for four of his albums.  She toured for years with Cher and has danced on the Grammy Awards and the Kid’s Choice Awards. She’s also performed on Ellen DeGeneres’ and Jay Leno’s talk shows.

Cartwright brought her dance expertise to The Bahamas after she met and fell in love with a Bahamian, Robert Cartwright, who she met while in The Bahamas choreographing for the Michael Jordan Golf Tournament show.  They engaged in a long distance relationship between The Bahamas and Los Angeles for a year before she decided to hang it up professionally and move to The Bahamas and marry him. She had been looking forward to teaching, but she credits her husband with convincing her to open her studio in September 2011 in the Shirley Street Plaza.


Top Classic Junior Solo

1st place - Andrea Pombo Calderin - “Time To Say Goodbye” - Just Dance It!

2nd place - Angelica Manduley - “Rabbit Tango” - Dance Unlimited

3rd place - Lauren Morris - “Stupid Cupid” - Dance Unlimited

4th place - Gabriella C. Gonzalez - “Hound Dog” - Dance Unlimited

5th place - Maria Sol Garcia - “Fly” - Dance Unlimited

6th place - Carolina Rionda - “Le Jazz Hot” - Dance Unlimited

7th place - Ruby Alvarado - “Paper Skin” - Miami Dance Company

8th place - Trini Grinspan - “Against All Odds” - Just Dance It!

9th place - Samantha Gutierrez - “Show Off” - Miami Dance Company

10th place - Christa Russell - “Tightrope” - Live 2 Dance - Nassau, Bahamas

Top Classic Petite Duet/Trio

1st place - “My Favorite Things” - ABC Dance Studio - Jussara Zerbino, Juliana Zerbino

2nd place - “Remember Me” - Dance Unlimited - Jossie Stern

3rd place - “Brokenhearted” - Live 2 Dance- Nassau, Bahamas - Nonny Cartwright

4th place - “Mix It Up” - Dance FX - Joan Bartoletti, Julie Bartoletti-Brown

5th place - “Both Of Us” - Xpressit Dance Center - Raquel Lopez

Top Classic Junior Small Group

1st place - “Room Of Angel” - Impact Dance Studios - Elizabeth Keeler

2nd place - “Dumbing Down Of Love” - Peaches School Of Dance - Leslie Gettis, Alison Aslaender

3rd place - “Bring It Back” - Impact Dance Studios - Elizabeth Keeler

4th place - “Kaji” - Peaches School Of Dance - Leslie Gettis, Alison Aslaender

5th place - “Chocolate” - Live 2 Dance- Nassau, Bahamas - Nonny Cartwright

Petite/Junior Fusion Award

“Brokenhearted” - Live 2 Dance- Nassau, Bahamas - Nonny Cartwright


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