CRESTVIEW — Fred Astaire Dance Studio recently brought home some top honors and awards in regional dance competition at Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin.
Studio professional dance instructors Chris Schultz, David Colón, Gus Smith and Hannah Kania, and students Kim Moore and Madi Lopez participated in a variety of dances at the Freddy Ball.
Moore and Madi, 13, competed in smooth and rhythm dance categories. Moore, who has been dancing since last summer, captured the Best New Student Competitor trophy and several first-place prizes.
Madi brought home several first-place awards and was presented the trophy for top dancer in the junior category.
“The best part was getting onto the dance floor for the first time,” she said.
Smith, Kania and Colón swept the Feb. 7-8 event's professional Novice and Mixed Novice dance categories. Competition heated up as the segments progressed.
“When it got down to the last two couples, it was really intense,” Smith said. “It was a cloud nine experience.”
Kania, a Crestview High School and Northwest Florida State College alumna, won the Rookie of the Year award, having danced professionally for less than a year and a half.
World dance champions Georgia Ambarian and Eric Luna, who guest-starred on TV's "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance," judged Crestview's team and their competitors.
Other judges were United States Amateur Latin Champion Marylynn Benitez and nationally renowned Fred Astaire Champions Greg Fidurski and Gabriela Jileva.