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Article Published August 5, 2019

Westbrook Dance Academy Delivers Show-Stopping Performances on the National Stage

By Press release from Westbrook Dance Academy

The Westbrook Dance Academy’s (WDA) competition teams displayed their talents on the big stage when the Imagine Dance Challenge Nationals took place at the Hershey Convention Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania from July 15 through July 19. WDA came home with two national championships in solo routines from Brooke DellaRocco and Silvia Sonenstein, along with 12 top-10 finishes by teams in their respective divisions, plus six judges’ special awards.

The Imagine Dance Challenge Nationals marked the conclusion of another successful season for WDA’s competition teams. WDA was among 32 studios from across the U.S. who competed at the event. There were a total of 1,200 overall entries.

Mara Kelley of Old Saybrook scored five stars and won the national championship in the 15-19 Solo Division with her tap solo Counting Cars. Kaylene Koelle of Clinton was runner-up and also scored five stars with her musical theater solo Model Behavior. The Solo Division featured more the 30 competitors.

Brooke Dellarocco of Chester earned a five-star elite and won a national championship in the 12-and-Up Vocal Division with her performance of This is Me. Sylvia Sonenstein of Madison scored five stars and was runner-up in the division with What it Means To Be A Friend.

Dellarocco also scored five stars and placed 10th out of 70 competitors among the 12-14 soloists with her jazz solo I Gotcha. Sonenstein also scored five stars with her musical theater solo I Can’t Say No. Gabrielle Walker of Westbrook scored five stars with her jazz solo Big Finish. Jaidyn Cote of Old Saybrook earned 4 ¾ stars and received a judges’ special award with her musical theater solo Rich and Famous. Megan Murphy of Old Saybrook scored 4 ¾ stars for her lyrical solo Skinny Love, and Madison Grady of Clinton earned 4 ¾ stars with her open solo Satan’s Lil Lamb.

WDA’s Senior competition team garnered five stars for its musical theater routine The Addams Family, placing second in the 15-19 Small Group Division, and was one of only eight out of 32 teams to qualify for the 12-and-Up Small Group No Limits Challenge. The Senior team’s lyrical routine In The Air Tonight earned third place, while its open routine of Survivor took fourth place. Senior competition team members included Kelley, Megan Murphy, and Alixandria Giannini of Old Saybrook; Zoie Murphy and Cori Hofler from Westbrook, and Dellarocco.

The Mini competition team placed fourth in the 9-11 Novice Small Group Division with its tap routine Boogie In The Barnyard. The Mini team also placed fifth with its jazz routine Born To Be Wild, which also received a judges’ special award. Mini team members include Alexa Cardello, Sofia Taylor, Kylee Pascale, and Cassandra Garcia of Old Saybrook; Mia Stowik and Sophie Furcolo of Westbrook; and Briella Dean from East Haddam.

The Future Stars competition team scored five stars and claimed eighth place for its rendition of Frozen Baby in the Eight and Under Novice Small Group Division. The Future team won its category and received a judges’ special award. Future team members include Layla Dwyer, Audrey Bragg, and Aubrey Meyer of Clinton; Delaney Keefe from Westbrook; and Delilah Calle of Old Saybrook.

In the 9-11 Novice Solo Division, Breilla Dean of East Haddam scored five stars and placed eighth out of 30 competitors with her jazz solo It’s All About Me.

The Junior competition team’s tap dance of Weird Science won the 11-and-Under Entertainment Award and scored 4 ¾ stars, while the routines of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road and Friend Like Me also scored 4 ¾ stars. The Junior competition team members include Isabella Johnson, Olivia Hartmann, Gabriella Navarra, and Madison Grady of Clinton; Tess Santarsiero, Jaidyn Cote, and Calla Gilson from Old Saybrook; Gabrielle Walker from Westbrook; and Sonenstein.

In the 15-19 Solo Division, Giannini earned 4 ¾ stars and won her category with her contemporary solo The Girl Behind the Mask. Giannini also scored 4 ¾ dystd and won her category with her jazz solo I Put A Spell On You. Hofler scored 4 ¾ stars and received a judges’ special award with her solo Alaska.

In the 9-11 Solo Division, Gabriella Navarra of Clinton scored 4 ¾ stars and received a judges’ special award with her open solo Arrival of the Birds.

In the 8-and-Under Novice Solo division Audrey Bragg of Madison scored 5 stars with her jazz solo The Call. Layla Dwyer of Clinton scored 4 ¾ stars and received a judges’ special award with her jazz solo I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

WDA offers programs for people of all ages and all ability levels in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, hip-hop, and more. For info, contact 860-664-4308 or, or visit