This season, five CityDance Conservatory Dancers – Eric Poor, Ela Sevilia, Simon Tischler, Corbin Holloway and Rebecca Stewart – had the exciting opportunity to participate in New York City Dance Alliance‘s conventions and competitions. Due to COVID-19, NYCDA shifted all workshops, technique classes and competitions, including the Regional Conventions, National Solo competition and annual Outstanding Dancer competition, to virtual platforms. This shift allowed CityDance Conservatory Dancers Corbin Holloway, Eric Poor and Ela Sevillia to enter videos for the National Solo competition.
Corbin received 1st Place National Junior High Score Soloist for his Variation from Le Corsaire (staged and coached by Stanislav Issaev); Eric received 1st Place National Mini High Score Soloist for his Variation from Raymonda (staged and coached by Stanislav Issaev); Ela received 10th Place National Mini High Score Soloist for her contemporary solo, “This Place Was a Shelter” (choreographed by Lorraine Spiegler); and Simon received top scores in the regional convention for his contemporary solo “Nightmare” (choreographed by Robert J. Priore).
Following the National Solo competition, our students were eligible to compete in the Outstanding Dancer competition, for which students must have won an “Outstanding Dancer” award at a regional competition during the year to qualify. Eric and Ela each chose to participate. Simon was also invited to Nationals, but he was unable to attend this season.
Outstanding Dancer competitors learned a ballet phrase from New York City Ballet principal dancer Megan Fairchild and a jazz combination from Broadway star Robbie Fairchild, which they were then adjudicated for live via Zoom. As with the National Solo competition, students were also judged based on videos that they submitted of their solos. Throughout the week, NYCDA hosted a number of workshops and specialty classes on Zoom, and students submitted videos for an opening number that was presented on Friday night at the Virtual Gala.
At the Gala, Eric won NYCDA National Mini Male Outstanding Dancer, and Ela was named 3rd Runner-Up NYCDA National Mini Female Outstanding Dancer.
As a top national winner, Eric will travel to conventions throughout the 2020-2021 season to assist the NYCDA faculty in the Mini room and perform a solo in the closing show.
Eric is the second CityDance Conservatory Dancer to receive this honor – during the 2019 season, Conservatory Dancer Rebecca Stewart won Junior High Score Soloist at the Baltimore regional competition and went on to become the 2019 National Junior Female Outstanding Dancer. Rebecca spent the beginning of this season travelling with NYCDA, and since the conventions moved online, she has continued to take classes and assist the faculty virtually.
We are so grateful that NYCDA has committed to providing exceptional dance education experiences for students in the time of COVID. NYCDA goals support the goals of the Conservatory. And the competition’s appreciation for contemporary styles and the rigor of classical ballet training in contemporary work is confluent with the CityDance School & Conservatory’s focus on training these important techniques in tandem. We look forward to sending Conservatory Dancers to compete and take classes at NYCDA for years to come!