11-Year-Old Selected For National Dance Team
With her blonde ringlets and sparkling smile, Madison Spade bore a slight resemblance to the legend Shirley Temple as a toddler. Watching Temple capture the hearts of viewers with her song and dance, it wasn’t long until Madison announced to her family that someday she wanted to dance like Temple.
Fast forward to 2012, Madison has not only stage presence and personality but enough skill to earn her a coveted spot on the Turn It Up national dance squad.
The daughter of Jamie and Petina Spade of Crystal Spring, Madison began taking dance lessons as a toddler at the Academy of Dance in Hancock, Md. Years later she moved onto the Shery Foor Dance Studio located in Everett, where she currently studies two of her favorite genres of dance – jazz and tap.
What would be considered by some as a stringent regime of practices and competition is nothing more than a passion for Madison, 11. Her hope is to someday have a room in her home to use as a dance studio, but for now she makes do – even practicing her daily feet exercises in the bathroom while she’s fixing her hair for school.
It was Madison’s passion and love of dance that prompted her family to grant her request to attend a national competition last month in Lancaster, Pa., in spite of the financial burden it could potentially place upon them. Madison said she volunteered to give up all of her Christmas presents if necessary and tried valiantly to sell enough Marianna hoagies to cover her entire trip to nationals. The staff at Southern Fulton School District overwhelmingly supported her sales effort, and Madison stated she was only $2 shy of paying for the national competition.
Madison was one of more than 200 dancers to compete in a variety of dance styles, including tap, hip hop, jazz, contemporary and Broadway. The girls reportedly danced for more than seven hours with help from master instructors from the popular television show “So You Think You Can Dance” as well as with help from a Broadway actress, who had appeared in “Mama Mia.”
Having never performed a Broadway-style dance before, both Madison and Petina were surprised she was selected to participate with the Turn It Up dance squad based solely on her Broadway dance. Madison, who participated in the junior 12 and under division, was among eight dancers to be selected for the Turn It Up dance team that is scheduled to perform in Ocean City, Md., July 19 through July 22.
“I didn’t think I would get selected,” said Madison. “A lot of the girls there practice five nights a week for about four hours at a time.”
Even though finances continue to be a concern, Petina said she could never take this opportunity away from her daughter. Willing to do everything in her power, Petina added she is considering fundraisers and sponsorships from businesses and residents to help offset the expense. Registration will tally at least $200, but the Reverence Dance Co. is helping by paying for any required costumes.
In the meantime, Madison’s practice and competition schedule is expected to increase drastically to help prepare her for her time with the Turn It Up dance team. She will be participating in a regional competition in Philadelphia in late March/early April in addition to other upcoming competitions that are scheduled through her dance instructor Sh- ery Foor.
Also interested in art and music, Madison vehemently disagrees with those who say dancing is not a sport. “My friends always tell me that dancing is not a sport, but it really is,” concluded Madison, who is interested in pursuing a career in dance.