Crestview dance studio wins 89 gold medals at regional competition


Top soloist Wanda Batson and her partner David Colón dance a tango in December at the Emerald Coast Dance Championships.

Special to the News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 12:39 PM.

CRESTVIEW — Internationally acclaimed ballroom dancers who judged the recent Emerald Coast Dance Championships liked the north county talent they saw.

The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Crestview, competing for the fourth year, brought home nearly 90 first-place medals during December’s two-day competition. 

Crestview competitors included seven-year-old Hannah Raley, 15-year-old Kristen Gallo and adult competitors Barbara Webb and Wanda Batson. Studio professionals included owner David Colón and dance instructors Aaron Stowell and Hannah Teel Kania, who both are Crestview High School alumni.

Local students shared the floor at the Sandestin event with participants from Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Panama City, Tallahassee and Birmingham, Ala., dance studios.

“The students scored a combined total of 89 first places, to include the Top Solo award and trophy that went to Wanda Batson for her mesmerizing performance of her Argentine tango routine,” Colón said. At last year’s competition, the Crestview studio brought home 71 gold medals.

“Wanda had been working on it for two or three months,” Kania said. “She was fantastic.”

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