Dance it Off competition brings on the fierce

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: The large group senior first place winners were the Safford Dance Academy for their performance of "Save a Skyler", which was a anti-bullying dance routine.

By Brooke Curley

SAFFORD – Local talent shone Saturday as the competition was intense for the third annual Dance it Off competition.

The competition was a three-hour long event and included numerous performances from groups with a variety of styles and sizes. Performances included single person and group contestants. Entry fees to participate in the event went toward funding the Safford High School Scholarship Foundation.

Brooke Curley Photo/Gila Valley Central: Second place large group teen winners danced to “Supermodels.” The school is called Genuine Dance.

Rach Jacob, who was one of the multiple judges of the competition, told Gila Valley Central that she is incredibly proud of the local talent in the Gila Valley.

“People may think it’s a small, rural town, but people need to understand and know that the talent here is extraordinary,” Jacob said.  “Having traveled all over the world and seen many dance companies all over the world, it’s extraordinary, and I’m very proud to be here.”

Jacob said the dance competition at the David M. Player Center for the Arts has been going on for roughly three years. She and several other local individuals banded together to create the dance off because the local dance groups travel to other locations to participate in dance competitions when they should utilize the resources already present in the community.

“Having been in the industry for 26 years, I knew we needed to have this happen because they have so much talent,” Jacob said.  “We have the facility to do it, so why not do it here? This is year three for us. We have a very talented board of judges (who have) a ton of experience from all over the world.”

However, when it comes to judging the talent of the contestants, Jacob said that it is never easy and that it completely depends on little details of the performance.

“We end up getting a close vote, (and) it is very difficult to work out,” Jacob said. “They’re all so good that it comes down to crunch time.”



Large Group Senior

1st Save a Skyler – Safford Dance Academy

2nd Come on Eileen – Safford Dance Academy

3rd  Better – Safford High School


Large Group Teen

1st  One, Two Step – Safford High School

2nd Supermodels – Genuine Dance


Small Group

1st Got Rhythm/Check it out – Gila Cheer All Stars


Small Group Teen

1st  Safford Dance Academy

2nd Safford Dance Academy

3rd Genuine Dance


Duo/Trio Junior

1st Safford Dance Academy

2nd Safford Dance Academy

3rd Studio One


Duo/Trio Teen

1st Genuine Dance

2nd Safford Dance Academy

3 Safford High School


Duo/ Trio Senior

1st Genuine Dance

2nd Safford High School

3 Safford High School


Solo Junior

1st Kessa Hancock –Dance Connection

2nd Ellei Throop – Safford Dance Academy

3rd Kendall Crum – Safford Dance Academy


Solo Teen

1st Felicity Cauthen –Safford Dance Academy

2nd Reyanna Ogas- Safford Dance Academy

3rd Callie Rogers- Safford Dance Academy


Solo Senior

1st Chris Gutierrez- Safford High School

2nd McKenzie Cash – Safford high School