Local Dancers Take Gold
Ballroom dancers from the Connelly Dance Centers of Richmond Hill and Rockaway Park danced away with first and second place in their first competition. The dancers competed at the New York Dance Festival Ballroom Competition held on Saturday, February 22 at the Roosevelt Hotel in Manhattan. This was the first time out for these competitors and they came home with top honors. Locals competing in the junior events and taking first place in the Waltz, Tango, Ruma and Cha Cha were Kara Spencer, age 6 of Broad Channel; Elija Washington, age 9; and Garensha Washington, age 11 of Rockaway Park. In the adult division, Felipe Nieves of Richmond Hill, and Marianella Matta of Woodhaven, took second place honors, while Thomas and Nancy Rowland of Howard Beach waltzed away with first place. "We’ve finally found an activity that we can both enjoy," said Nancy Rowland. "We intend to stick with it – we’re having a great time." Their coach, Ellen Connelly, is thrilled with the performance of her new students and is expecting them to dance all the way to the top. Pictured (left to right) top row: Thomas Rowland, Nancy Rowland, Kyle Aitken, Lizette Blakes, Marianella Matta, and Felipe Nieves. Pictured bottom row: Ellen Connelly, Kara Spencer, Elija Washington and Garensha Washington.