A Belen High School senior is a member of the Elite Senior Dance Company of New Mex-ico that competed in the Na-tional Dance Team Competition in Orlando, Fla., last month.
Jennifer Willis, who started her dance career at the age of 3, has progressed to the highest level attainable in senior dance team competition.
Her team competed in the All-Star Jazz and All-Star Pom Divisions. They were named the national champions in the Senior All-Star Jazz Division after a week of competition. They competed against teams from throughout the nation. The competition is sponsored by the United Dance Association, Dis-ney World and ESPN.
Willis has performed in numerous dance productions, including “The Nutcracker” in Arizona, “Shadowland” at Pope-joy Hall at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and “The CRUX” with the Elite Studio.
For the past three years, she has traveled to the Elite Studios on Albuquerque’s north side four times a week to practice between four and eight hours per day.
She is a member of the National Honor Society, carrying a 4.2 grade point average and is a member of the Belen High School Staters Club and Swing Choir.
She plans to attend Arizona State University to study business and law. She is the daughter of Jerry and Della Willis of Tomé.
The dance company is a regional All-Star team made up of 13 dancers from area schools. All have trried out and been selected to join the team based on their dancing ability.
The team is designed to be an advanced, competitive team participation in the regional Summer Dance Competition at UNM and qualifying for the National Dance Championships in Orlando, Fla.
The championships will be broadcast on ESPN in the near future.
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.