Performing Arts Dance Center earns national titles in Pigeon Forge

Published 8:57 am Wednesday, July 12, 2023


PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. — Returning to Nationals for the first time in about 20 years, Performing Arts Dance Center dominated the stage in every age group and brought home numerous team and individual titles.

PADC’s Olivia Reeves was named National Miss Dance America at the conclusion of the Nationals competition, hosted from June 26 through July 3 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Meanwhile, Sierra Badeaux was the third runner up for the National Miss Dance America title. PADC is also home to the third and fourth runners-up for National Junior Miss Dance America, Kenzie Trosclair and Kinsley Fields, as well as second runner-up National Petite Miss Dance America, Alexa Brister.

The entire team of 30 dancers, ranging in age from 6 to 18, was featured in the National Championship dance number, “Salute.” Company teacher Ashlee Brister said even the youngest children keep up with the challenging steps.

The team has worked to perfect dance numbers since July 2022 in anticipation of the competition season. Stellar performances at the Rainbow Regionals in Slidell this past April earned Performing Arts Dance Center a ticket to Nationals.

“It’s a lot of time commitment, but it was all worth it,” Brister said. “It’s been quite some time since we’ve traveled out of state to compete at nationals.”

Of the 29 dances PADC brought to Nationals, 15 placed in the top five. The juniors were named grand national champions for their age division. According to Brister, the juniors have some newer members on the team, and all of the girls have worked together to help each other along the way.

The junior team members consist of Paisley Clement, Kinsley Fields, Cecelia Hille, Anasthasia Miller, Paisley Molina, Gia Murphy, Isabella Prichard, Taylor Randall, Maddison Robert, Jenna Rummel, Emma Triche, Kenzie Trosclair, Brooklyn Williams, Chace Wordlaw and Sofia Zeledon.

The minis and seniors also had finalists called back for the showcase.

The minis have six members, Alexa Brister, Darrian Joseph, Savannah Louque, Taylor Robert, Vallie Smith and Paisley Wheelahan.
“Their average age is 6, and they impress me with the challenging steps they do together as a team,” Brister said.

Meanwhile, the seniors on the team have grown up together on the competition stage.

“Each year, they end up working harder together. A lot of them make goals and work hard to achieve those goals, and they are always there to cheer each other on,” Brister said.

The senior division includes Sierra Badeaux, Liliana Dantin, Skyla Fields, Marlei Foster, Kylie Levet, Felicity Louper, Kayden McGee, Olivia Reeves and Abigail Vandenborre.

Performing Arts Dance Center is owned by Traci Marchetta and has been in operation for 26 years. The studio’s 27th year will begin after the Labor Day holiday at 101 Fairway Drive in LaPlace. Children as young as 2 can sign up for recreational dance classes. For more information about registration for upcoming classes, call 985-652-8600.