Friday, April 16, 2010

Their swing-and-sway much more than OK

From (Staten Island, NY):

A dance extravaganza replete with Mardi Gras theme, a Bourbon Street background and festive balloons provided the perfect backdrop for the 2010 Fred Astaire Regional Metropolitan Dancesport Championships in the grand ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel in Atlantic City.

Taking home top honors during the ballroom dance competition weekend event were Halina Molinowski of Great Kills and Tottenville’s Caylie McAree.

Halina, a first-time ballroom dance competitor, not only scored multiple first-place awards but was named overall top student in the Novice Division.

Halina danced with instructors Marco Garcia and Kelly Gilmore, who doubles as director of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Grasmere, to both slow and rhythm dances in the professional/amateur category. Halina was awarded first places with both instructors in Fox Trot, Waltz, Tango, East Coast Swing, Rhumba, Cha-Cha, Merengue, Salsa, Mambo and Hustle.

The Saturday evening grand banquet found Ms. Molinowski presented with an overall top student trophy alongside her proud instructors.

Also taking home top honors with instructor Marco was 7-year-old ballroom dancer Caylie McAree, who also represented Fred Astaire last November at the Fred Astaire Northeast Dancesport Championships in Mahwah, N.J. — at which time she danced with Marco for the studio’s Holiday Showcase held on Staten Island in December. Caylie is also an accomplished gymnast.

Scoring first place in all her dance entries with Marco, Caylie danced Merengue, Cha-Cha, East Coast Swing and Rhumba as a newcomer, as well as dancing at the Bronze Level in the juvenile (under 12) age category.

“We were definitely winners this time in Atlantic City,” boasted Gilmore. “But,” says he, “it had nothing to do with luck! Both of our dancers were well-rehearsed and performed even better on the dance competition floor than they had in rehearsal.”

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