JOHNSTOWN – Romano Acro Dance outdid himself in a recent competition in Saratoga Springs, said academy owner Jessica Romano, with the competitive dance team returning to Johnstown as the regional champion.
“I am in heaven, proud of them” said Romano.
The performance was particularly satisfactory coming a year after the COVID shutdown, she said.
RAD, as the studio is most often referred to, modeled the talents and ambitions of dancers for five seasons at 38 W. Main St. Romano said the typical season coincides with the school year, roughly September to June.
RAD dancers were unable to compete in 2020 due to COVID-19, but this year has made up for lost time, winning multiple awards from the regional competition on April 18 at the Hilton in Saratoga Springs.
Romano said RAD had 127 dancers in total, including 32 who traveled to Saratoga as a competitive team.
“You don’t have to be invited,” she said, and the kids paid an entrance fee.
Romano noted that RAD participants traveled to Saratoga to participate in the Step Up 2 dance competition. Dancers aged five to 17 participated and received top notch turntables, turntables and prizes.
“This is a great achievement following state closures due to the pandemic”, she said. “The RAD dancers were unable to compete last season due to the state-imposed shutdown. The dancers worked hard throughout this difficult time and remained committed to making their hometown proud, and they did.
Acro dancing is a style of dance that combines classical dance technique with acrobatic elements of precision. He is defined by his athletic character, his unique choreography, which harmoniously blends dance and acrobatics, and his use of acrobatics in a dance context.
Romano’s daughter, Bella, was one of those who competed in Saratoga.
She said: “It was an incredible feeling to be back on the competitive dance floor with my dance team. With the pandemic, we weren’t sure if that was even going to be a possibility this year. Our dance team worked so hard this past season. It was an emotional day to be able to see all of our dancers doing what they do best and leaving everything we had there on the dance floor.
Romano Acro Dance was ready to compete and was practicing in March 2020 when the pandemic struck. The studio must have taken inspiration from local health and education officials.
“We were getting ready to go at that time”, Said Jessica Romano.
“The studio has been closed all summer,” she said.
Like other children in the community involved in extracurricular activities, she said the RAD dancers felt like they had had their season. “Ripped from them.”
Returning to dance on West Main Street for 2021, Romano said there are plenty of COVID rules to follow, but young people are still having fun. Since September, she said students have wondered, however, if the pandemic will get worse and hamper their routines again this year.
“We just crossed our fingers and toes,” Said Romano.
Helped by her sister, Meghan Bartlett, Romano and RAD embraced this new season and traveled to Saratoga with a renewed goal. Romano said there were 27 routines performed during the day – solo performances, trios and larger groups. For example, a routine in Pat Benatar “Heartbreaker” won a first place.
Romano said his Romano dancers were competitive every year, representing the Johnstown studio. They even competed in different states. The dancers are not just from Johnstown, she says, but from all over, such as the Capital Region, Northville, Fort Plain and Fonda.
The studio’s competitive program offers a team program for dedicated students looking to expand their acro dance training. Students study and practice two to five times a week in all forms of dance and acro in order to perform and compete. This program is offered to returning students by invitation only.
There is also a recreational program. The academy offers combination programs designed to give students the opportunity to learn a variety of different dance forms including: ballet / dance technique, acro-gymnastics, lyrical, contemporary, tap, jazz and hip- hop in an age-appropriate setting. This program is offered to new and former students.
Further information on RAD can be obtained by going online at: https://romanoacrodance.com; or by calling the studio at (518) 775-7517.