January 27, 2020
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Pendleton Named National Dance Champion for Second-Straight Year

Published Jul 21, 2019 • Last Updated 03:06 pm, July 21, 2019

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Grace Pendleton, a 16 year-old Clinton resident and student at The Dance Corner of Killingworth, was named the 2019 Starpower Intermediate Senior Champion when she competed at the Starpower National Championships at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville on July 9.

Pendleton earned five stars and claimed first place overall for her solo jazz performance, Colors. She also received special recognition from the judges by winning the Light up the Floor Award. Pendleton’s upbeat routine was choreographed by Dance Corner instructor Samantha Welch Hermann. This marks the second year in a row that Pendleton and Hermann have won the Starpower national title. Pendleton also won the title in 2018 with an emotional lyrical solo, Somebody’s Someone, which was also choreographed by Hermann.

Additionally, on July 2, Pendleton competed at the Turn it Up National Competition that was held at Foxwoods, where she was presented with the Turn it Platinum Pro Award, as well as special judges’ award for Phenomenal Performance Perfect Package. Pendleton also received the Turn it Up Excellence in Technique Award and a $100 scholarship. To top it all off, Pendleton was named the 2019 Turn It Up Intermediate Senior first place overall winner.

“Grace is one of the hardest-working dancers I have ever met. She takes advantage of every opportunity to practice, learn, and grow as an artist and athlete,” said Carrie Smith, the studio director of The Dance Corner Studio Director. “Grace is a self-motivated, goal-oriented young woman who is not only a talented performer--she is also a fantastic role model, mentor, and teammate. She has worked hard to earn these titles, and all of us at The Dance Corner are extremely proud of her.”

Pendleton will start her junior year at The Morgan School in the fall. She has been performing and studying dance for 13 years at The Dance Corner. In addition to jazz, Pendleton also studies ballet, lyrical, tap, contemporary, and acrobatics. Pendleton plans to pursue a career as a special education and dance teacher.

The Dance Corner welcomes students of any age or level to take a free trial dance class. The studio is currently accepting new students into their 2019-’20 fall-spring session, as well as offering free dance days on Tuesday, Aug. 20 and Wednesday, Aug. 21. To register or find out more about dance classes, camps, and events, visit

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