Carmel dance group strikes gold

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A quartet of Carmel elementary school students proved to be a quick study.

The four dancers from Indianapolis Chinese Performing Arts Inc.’s Little Flower Dance Group performed “Little Girls Picking Mushrooms” and won a Gold Award for their age group and Most Energetic Award for all age groups at the Taoli World Dance Competition Oct. 19 in Chicago.

Team members are West Clay third-grader Liya Yi, Prairie Trace third-grader Prudence Peng, Towne Meadow second-grader Grace Liu and College Wood second-grader Jessica Zhao.

“Because the quartet was formerly formed in September, the girls totally committed to the six-week intensive, two-hour daily practice, never made one complaint, all because of their love in dancing,” said Xiaonan Chu, mother of Lui.

Ninety-three teams from seven states and two provinces from Canada competed.

Peng said the best part was “definitely being able to perform on stage and share with others of our hard work. Also, it’s enjoyable to watch performances from other teams.”

Peng said the girls got closer during the trip.

“It was a very long day, so we entertained each other by sharing snacks and cracking jokes as our friendship has become deeper,” she said.

Peng’s mother, Ada Yeung, said the girls were successful by being themselves, happy children who love dancing.

Young said most of the girls have had approximately 1 1/2 years of dance lessons and their technical skills are not as solid as other teams.

“However, I think the judges appreciate the girls’ pure joy from dancing and capability of being great storytellers as if they were just having fun picking up mushrooms through dance on stage,” Yeung said. “Their confidence on stage has been increased a lot as their technical skills and flexibility have also been improved.”

Tina Magnusson was the group’s dance coach.

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