Dance contest benefits Zambian orphanage (8 photos, video)


Megan Kearney

KNS Rockstar was one of the performances at the "Rising Star" dance competition Saturday night. Credit: Megan Kearney/The Foothill Dragon Press.
KNS Rockstar was one of the performances at the “Rising Star” dance competition Saturday night. Credit: Megan Kearney/The Foothill Dragon Press.

The sounds of cheering, clapping, singing, and dancing feet vibrated through Buena High School’s auditorium Saturday night at Ventura County’s third annual “Rising Star” dance competition.

“I started [this event] because I knew I wanted to combine charity and non-profit with community support,” executive producer and founder of the competition Sade Champagne said. “The goal is to raise money for the children’s orphanage in Zambia, to encourage people to follow their dreams, and to inspire people to help out others.”

Champagne began working with the Destined to Live the Good Life children’s orphanage in 2009 before its official opening in 2010. She created this competition to raise awareness and to help the orphanage in Zambia, Africa.

“It is a good cause because we get to have a fun event within the community and still benefit those less fortunate,” Tyhler Duncon said.

The show opened with a lively performance by Dancefusion, the winners of the first competition in 2010. Two other winning performances from previous years followed.

Celebrities Adam Whittington and Madisen Hill were the hosts for the night and introduced the four celebrity judges: Temara Melek, Tammy Fey, Nesa Kovacs and Sir Charles. All of the judges have had many years of combined dancing, singing and acting experience in the entertainment industry.

The night also consisted of Champagne’s performance of “Hallelujah.” The audience had the opportunity to watch one of her music videos and a clip about the orphanage that proceeds raised from the event will help to support.

During short breaks in between the dancing, the hosts drew raffle tickets for CDs, t-shirts, handmade hats and beanies, and free dance lessons from celebrity dancers or singers.

The performers consisted of ten finalists who had the opportunity to compete for a spot in the competition by auditioning through online videos and in person for Champagne. After each performer, judges provided feedback to the competitors.

Halfway through the evening’s competition Osiris Farris, also known as X-Rated, left the judges speechless as he danced hip hop while adding his own twist. Showcasing unique moves, he peformed stunts no one else would be able to pull off and walked away with the first place trophy and the chance to take part in Champagne’s newest music video.

The judges awarded second place to Jet AllStars Cheer and Dance group, who will perform at next year’s competition.

This was the first year that the judges felt they also had to award an extra group for creativity. The winner of this was the Ahlam Saeeda belly dancing troupe.

Champagne also awarded two performers the MVP award. Ana Vega and Michael Brabante performed a duet and received this award because they raised the most money to benefit the orphanage prior to the event.

Champagne also awarded Foothill student Caitlin Trude the MVP award.

“I choose you for this award because you have had such an amazing attitude and a wonderful sprit from the beginning,” Champagne said.

After the event, audience members took photos and got autographs from the judges, hosts, and dancers.

“I think it is a lot of fun because there is a lot of styles of dancing and I like to see what news things people can bring to the stage every year,” Karina Lopez said.

Editor’s Note: Caitlin Trude serves as the Arts and Entertainment editor for The Foothill Dragon Press.

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