Dancing with the national stars

PDP takes second in Florida nationals


The varsity dancers leaped to Florida to take second in the nation for their stunning jazz performance. The Poway Dance Project once again amazed not only the students but the judges as well. 

For most of the girls, the freshmen especially, this was a first time experience, and they made it worthwhile. As for the dancers that had attended the UDA Dance Competition in the past, this was a dream come true. 

Junior Payton Bryant, a three-year varsity dancer, had the time of her life achieving a long-term goal. “It’s very nerve racking standing on the stage with my team waiting to hear our placement. Each time a team that’s not us got called, my stomach dropped. Once it was announced that we got second in the nation for small jazz, all of us were so incredibly happy. Our goal was to only make it to the top ten, so getting second was an amazing surprise. This was truly a surreal moment and brought us all closer together,” Bryant  said.

Junior Avery Moncey is also a third year varsity dancer who worked extremely hard to get to this point, even with some rough patches. “The hardest obstacle to overcome in order to get to this point was honestly the mental block I feel we all had at some points. UDA is the hardest dance competition in the nation, and at times we would be so hard on ourselves that we felt like we couldn’t reach our fullest potential. Due to COVID we missed out on a year of going to UDA, so most of our team has never been to Florida before. At times we thought we weren’t even going to get past the first round, which is prelims, but after we took the stage the first time, it felt like everything came together and all our hard work had paid off,” Moncey said. 

There were  times when it was hard to stay motivated, but the girls found a way to overcome obstacles. “I stay motivated by just praying for me and my team. God gave me this talent for a reason, so it motivates me to do good for my team and myself,” junior Asia Tano-Aicher said.

Even with mental blocks, the end results make it justifiable. “I also know that at times practice is hard and I just want to cry and give up. But at the end it’s gonna be the best feeling ever and it really was worth all the tears during practice,” junior Asia Tano-Aicher said.

The girls constantly work hard and prove to everyone that it will pay off, as they continue to win over and over again.