Kay Michael Lee Studio represented Williston as a competitor in the Regional Ovation Dance Challenge this past weekend in Fargo. Their hard work paid off, as the studio walked away with many awards and recognitions for their competition dancers.

Kay Michael Lee Studio sent three dancers to compete in solo and duo routines in jazz, tap, lyrical, and musical theatre. All of the dancers were recognized for their technical and artistic performance abilities. This was the dancers’ first competition after their season was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our entire studio shifted to online classes using Zoom and Facebook Live,” commented Owner and Artistic Director, Sarah Johnson. Their Competition Company met during their regularly scheduled classes for all of April using Zoom and then resumed in-person classes during May and June. “It was an adjustment period at first, but eventually we got into the rhythm of dancing using technology. It meant a lot to see and hear one another during these challenging times, but it was even better when we reunited in the studio in May.”

KML dancer Ainslen Tanner was ahead of the digital dancing learning curve, as she learned her tap solo, “Sunday’s Finest” through video instruction this fall. Her quick feet and energetic performance earned her Third Place Overall High Score Junior Solo, a great accomplishment after a challenging season. Her teammates, Bethany Dreffs and Lora Wolle, also earned high adjudication scores for their solos and duet.

Prior to the pandemic, the studio was preparing for its first-ever appearance at Walt Disney World this summer. The studio moved this unique travel and dance experience to next summer instead. While in Florida, they will perform a selection of competition routines in their repertoire.

The studio just held its first audition date earlier this week, including a first-ever virtual audition option for the dancers. Dancers ages 5-18 that are still interested in this competitive dance program are encouraged to mark their calendars for the August 20 audition date.

The 2019-2020 Competition Company at Kay Michael Lee Studio includes 22 dancers ages 5-18 with choreography by Sarah Johnson, Jurni Holte, Abby Powell, Morgan Benth, and Serena Christianson. They have been rehearsing since September for their five competitions in North Dakota and Wyoming. Although their competition season was disrupted due to the pandemic, they are committed to finishing their season on a high note, participating in their last competition in Gillette, WY later in July.

Celebrating its 9th season of dance excellence, Kay Michael Lee Studio was founded in July 2011 by Williston natives Sarah Johnson and Serena Christianson. They are excited to share their combined experience of over 30 years in dance, theatre, teaching, and the performing arts. Kay Michael Lee Studio’s mission is to promote and support the art of dance through professional instruction, choreography, and performance.

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