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Local dance studio's quest reaches the stars

Colonie dance team gains national traction

The World of Dance of Colonie was named the Studio of Excellence award winner for the second year in a row at StarQuest Nationals, besting 55 other studios. The award goes to the studio with the most winning numbers over the six-day competition.

The World of Dance of Colonie was named the Studio of Excellence award winner for the second year in a row at StarQuest Nationals, besting 55 other studios. The award goes to the studio with the most winning numbers over the six-day competition. Submitted photo

— Some of The World of Dance teams completely outscored the competition, and many soloists took home the top score, including Cuzdey’s niece Hannah Pregont, who won the overall high score soloist.

The World of Dance studio also holds the title as the No. 1 studio in the state and No. 9 in the country, named by the Federation of Dance Competitions.

Cuzdey said one reason the team works so well together and succeeds in competitions is through the studio’s family-friendly ambiance. The World of Dance studio offers tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, hip hop and core dancing, anywhere from recreational to advance competitive training to 2 and a half year olds to adults. While not all of the 250 students compete on the team, Cuzdey said the teachers, which include Cuzdey herself, her mother and her brother, and the teaching methods create a comfortable and positive studio atmosphere, evoking a sense of family by working hard together and learning core values including responsibility and teamwork.

“You feel like home when you come here. It’s a very positive place,” Cuzdey said.

According to Cuzdey, she wanted to have a studio where people could go to have their children learn about not only dance, but about respecting one another, teamwork, and responsibility.

Donna Bell, of Rennselaer, has had both of her daughters dance and compete with The World of Dance. While it just started out as a hobby for both, one daughter is now studying dance in college and the other, 15-year-old Jolie, competed at the StarQuest competition this year. Bell agreed with Cuzdey, claiming the family atmosphere keeps the team strong.

“Everything about dance is personal. You’re putting your emotions on the stage. These girls … they’re spending hours of their time together. That’s what makes it part of the family,” Bell said.

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