High-fives for Team SA at the world champs in Los Angeles

Five East London pupils were part of a team that represented the country at the World Championships of Performing Arts (WCOPA) in Los Angeles last week, bringing home 31 medals and trophies from the games.

SUCCESSFUL: Imké Arries, 16, who is originally from Grahamstown, won gold medals for casual petite modelling and was the division winner for modelling casual at the Champs in Los Angeles last week.

The “Dance Addiction” Dance Studio performers competed in the South African Champs of Performing Arts in Johannesburg in April, qualifying to go to the world championships in the US.

In the national competition, a team of dancers to represent South Africa at the WCOPA was selected.

In the semis, 14 South Africans were chosen for dance, seven of which were from Dance Addiction.

The WCOPA is regarded as the ultimate performing arts competition, where 67 countries send their best performers to compete.

Ashley Behrens, Alizwa Sotshongaye, Chace Collett, Shanea Miller, Inathi Mpulampula, Tayla Meecham and Jemima Kruger brought home 31 medals as well as the overall trophy for dance.

Imké Arries, 16, who is originally from Grahamstown, won gold medals for casual petite modelling and division winner for modelling casual.

Collett brought a full house of gold medals and was crowned overall champion of the World Division. She received four gold medals for her solo dance pieces, five medals for her duets with her partner and trainer Behrens and won four more medals for her modelling items.

Miller, who also competed in modelling, won one gold, a silver and a bronze as well as overall division winner for swimwear.

Behrens and Collett once again were selected for the finals and performed at the showcase of champions which was televised and streamed live. The two competed for top three senior dance groups and won the title of “Grand Championships of the world” for the second time this year.

Collett was also awarded for winning the most medals from South Africa – 14 gold medals, one silver and 13 overall category winning trophies – at WCOPA this year.

Sotshongaye Collett and Behrens also won scholarships to the world renowned Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles.

Dance Addiction founder, Wendy Miller said the team had worked hard and deserves the accolades.

Phumza Mpulampula, mother of Beaconhurst pupil, Inathi said she was also grateful to the Buffalo City Metro which had made it possible for her daughter and Soshongaye to participate in the competition.

She said the municipality sponsored flight, accommodation and food costs for the girls who needed a total of R150000 each for the two-week trip.

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