By Kat Worrall
After a leap, jump and plié, the Baylor Dance Company has danced its way to high awards at the American Collegiate Championship competition.
The competition held by the American Dance/Drill Team was Saturday at the University of North Texas. Within Division 1A’s soloist competition, which includes both male and female competitors, Baylor Dance Company claimed the top two spots, with Houston freshman Karla Jaramillo placing first and Monrovia, Calif., freshman Kevin Vogel placing second.
Jaramillo’s first place routine was a contemporary dance to A Great Big World’s song, “Say Something.”
“There wasn’t necessarily any purpose behind it,” Jaramillo said of her dance’s theme and song. “It’s a beautiful song and the beats to it were perfect for performing.”
Jaramillo, who said she has been dancing since she was 6 years old, won prizes such as a large tiara, athletic bag and costume bag, and said the competition is sending her a customized jacket and trophy soon. This was her first time to place first as a soloist, she said.
“It didn’t really dawn on me until I got back to my dorm and I was looking at my tiara,” she said. “I was like, ‘Wow, this is pretty nice.’”
Vogel has been dancing since his sophomore year of high school and placed second in the soloist division. While he did compete in high school, he said this competition was a new experience.
“I definitely wanted to keep dancing when I came to college, so this was a place where I could get plugged in and stay connected to the dance world,” he said.
He chose Imagine Dragon’s song “Radioactive” for his acrobatic jazz routine. The routine, which Vogel choreographed himself, included acrobatic tricks such as an aerial and back walkovers.
“I feel like personally I could have prepared a little bit more, but it was fun to work and choreograph my own solo,” Vogel said. “In previous years, I would have my dance teacher choreograph it.”
As for Baylor Dance Company’s group dance, Grace Nelson, a Waco choreographer, created its contemporary dance routine to “In the Embers” by Sleeping At Last. It placed as second runner-up, or third place, finishing behind University of Texas at Austin’s Dance Team and Southern Methodist University’s Pom Squad.
The Baylor Dance Company will be performing its group dance at their upcoming Spring Showcase.
Jaramillo and Vogel will also perform their winning solo routines.
The showcase will have two performances: at 6 p.m. April 12 and 2 p.m. April 13 in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.
Baylor Dance Company students will perform pieces choreographed by other company members. Joy’s School of Dance and the Baylor Theater tap class will also perform.
Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.