Expressenz squad competes in TV competition

From left, Kendall Wright (Carmel), Maya Palmer (Brownsburg), Macie Harris (Carmel), Camryn Mandelbaum (Indianapolis), Macie Blacklidge (Zionsville)
Kylie Mendoza (Carmel), Makenna Blacklidge (Zionsville) and Caroline Moeller (Carmel). (Submitted photo)

Carmel High School sophomore Kylie Mendoza knows it was a rare honor her dance group from Expressenz was given.

A group of eight dancers, including four from Carmel and two from Zionsville, from Indianapolis-based Expressenz Dance Center was chosen to compete on “World of Dance,” a dance competition which debuts its second season May 29 on NBC. The series has been filmed, but the contestants aren’t permitted to discuss results.

“It was a such a great opportunity to audition and be chosen for the show,” Mendoza said.” None out of us had been out to L.A. for any big opportunities, so we were super excited for it.”

The group, ages 14-17, competed in the Junior Team Division.

“Our specialty is contemporary lyrical, which is kind of like a ballet but more modern,” said Mendoza, who has been at Expressenz 10 years.

Expressenz has won six national titles.

“This is competition is on a whole other level. We were competing from the best dancers from all over the world,” Mendoza said of the show. “This was more intense competition. We are all like sisters, and we got even closer than we had been. We didn’t even know was possible.”

Brebeuf Jesuit junior Kendall Wright, Carmel, has been dancing at Expressenz for nearly 11 years.

“This opportunity was like nothing that we’ve ever had before,” Wright said. “This is something we never expected. I remember when one of the ‘World of Dance’ producers contacted her and said they wanted us to audition, we were excited. We trained really hard for it. Learning to dance together for all these years has helped us.”

CHS junior Macie Harris has been dancing at the studio for nine years.

“We’re all great friends. We have such great training and our teachers are like are second moms,” Harris said. “I know we all love dancing here.”

Harris described the experience as eye-opening.

“We got to branch out. It’s harder to find competition in Indiana,” Harris said. “Everyone was amazing. Meeting all these new people was exciting for us. It’s something we’ll never forget.”

The other dancer from Carmel is Caroline Moeller. The two dancers from Zionsville are Macie Blacklidge and Makenna Blacklidge.