This is big news, Smarties – two Miller Street Dance Academy dancers were recently named Mr. and Miss Teen Dance of America. We want to give a big Smarty high-five to these local teens – such unbelievable talent right here in the QC. Brendan Moran, 14, and Natalie Rogers, 14, won their titles at the annual Dance Masters of America Grand Nationals Competition in Orlando, FL on July 9, 2014.
Brendan has been dancing for eight years and competed against nine other dancers to win his title. Brendan also won the ballet and jazz specialty awards. Natalie
has been dancing for 12 years and competed against 29 other dancers to win her title. Natalie also won the tap, jazz, acro, and modern specialty awards.
We know that achieving a title like this takes YEARS of dedication and hard work by the dancers AND their families. We wanted to give them a chance to talk a little bit about why they love dancing so much and what’s brought them to this point. We sat down with both, and here’s what we they said!
What age did you start dancing? 2.5
What does being named the national teen dance titleholder mean to you? My dream has always been to win all 4 of the Miss Dance of NC titles. At age 7 I won Petite Miss Dance of NC and went on to win Petite Miss Dance of America. I later won Jr Miss Dance of NC twice and at nationals I received 1st runner up each time. I was blessed enough to win Teen Miss Dance of NC last year, and with much hard work and prayers I captured the national title last month. It was the greatest achievement of my life so far and a dream come true.
What has inspired you to be the amazing dancer you are? As a little girl I loved all of the big girl dancers that took classes at my mom’s dance studio. They played with me and babysat me, so I wanted to be just like them. I had been wanting to take classes, so once I was 2.5 mom let me do 1 class per week. The more I danced the more I wanted to, but she would only let me do that one class each week for 2 years. Once I turned 4 I was begging for more classes, so she let me have more classes and start competing. I think the fact that my mom let me take the lead and didn’t push me made me want to dance more. She always acted like it is no big deal for me to dance so it stayed my “thing” and not her dream.
When you’re not dancing, what is you favorite thing to do? Swimming, watching movies, and spending time with friends. I recently joined the Charlotte Latin dance team. This group of girls are so much fun, we became instant friends and I enjoy dancing with them at school.
What age did you start dancing? I started dancing at the age of 4 1/2. When I moved to North Carolina I found my dance studio, Miller Street Dance Academy. Dance became a hobby for me.
What has inspired you to be the amazing dancer you are? Everyone at Miller Street Dance Academy has been my inspiration and motivation. With such a variety of great dancers, there are many qualities of each dancer that I strive for. If I see a girl who can kick her leg past her head gracefully, I become motivated to stretch and work on my legs until I can do that as well. The dancers at Miller Street and all around the world inspire me to work harder at become a better dancer.
What does being named the national teen dance titleholder mean to you? Being awarded the title of Teen Mr. Dance of America has been an honor, and I credit this honor to every dancer at my studio. To me the title means that I have been persistent in trying to be a better dancer and person.
When you’re not dancing, what is your favorite thing to do? My outside hobbies besides dance include golf, tennis, and going to amusement parks. I enjoy spending time with friends and family.
Miller Street Dance Academy was founded in 1994 with the aim of providing quality, tasteful dance instruction in a positive environment. Our goal is to cultivate young dancers into well-rounded individuals who have not only an appreciation for dance but who reach for high achievement in academics and community service, as well.
967 Market St., Ste. 100
Fort Mill, South Carolina