Wayzata High School senior and dance team captain, Vanessa Iorio, competed last October at the Miss Dance Team Minnesota competition where she danced her way to the title of Miss Dance Team Minnesota 2008. This qualified her for the national Miss Dance Drill Team USA Pageant which took place this past weekend in Orange County, California. Competing against 34 other winners from around the country, Iorio swept the competition and was crowned Miss Dance Drill Team USA 2009. She now qualifies for the International competition in August in Tokyo, Japan where she will represent the United States.
Vanessa, along with 7 other dancers from Minnesota trained under the direction of Miss Dance Team Minnesota Director, Jenny Raiche, for 6 weeks prior to making the trip to the nationals. Competing as soloists in the “Miss” division Vanessa, Paige Campbell (Eastview High School) and Christina Hamari (Chaska High School) had to compete in 3 different divisions. 70% if their score was based on their solo dance routine. 15% of the score was based off of their display of technical dance skills. 15% was based off of an interview done in front of a private panel of judges. Out of 34 dancers competing, all 3 Minnesota soloists made into the top 15 and final round of competition. After the first elimination, the top 10 was announced and again all 3 Minnesota soloists were in. Paige Campbell ended up in 8th place and Christina Hamari in 9th place. On top of winning the competition, Iorio was awarded ‘Best Interview’ of the competition.
Director Jenny Raiche says of Vanessa and Team MN, “This was the strongest showing Minnesota has had at the nationals and I am so proud and thrilled for these talented young women. Vanessa was an amazing representation of Dance Team in Minnesota. Her performances were stunning and I had a really good feeling she was going to win it. She is a pleasure to work with and will represent the United States so well at the international competition.”
Other dancers representing Minnesota were Kelsey Martin (Eastview High School): 2nd place overall in 11th grade lyrical; Emily Brestovansky (Eden Prairie High School): 5th place overall in 10th grade lyrical; Brynja Hill (Maple Grove High School): 1st place in 10th/11th grade open division; Jillian Bagley, Christina Hamari and Becca Porter (Chaska High School): 1st place High Point in Duet/Trio division; Team Minnesota including Vanessa Iorio, Paige Campbell, Christina Hamari, Kelsey Martin, Emily Brestovansky and Brynja Hill: 1st place High Point in Team Open division.