Coast dancers in the spotlight at regional competition

Coast dancers in the spotlight at regional competition
The Celebration Talent regional competition attracted almost 200 entries with multiple dancers throughout the region.

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - There was a dancing showcase Saturday as hundreds of young women put their talent in the spotlight.

The Celebration Talent regional competition was held at the Mississippi Gulf Coast Coliseum and Convention Center.

While the dancing event creates future stars, it also creates something much bigger.

"Dancing is definitely the best feeling in the world that anyone could experience," said Harleigh Lafontaine, a dancer with The Studio of Classique Vibe in Waveland. "I mean you can literally do it anywhere just get up and move the way you want, and you get to express your feelings."

But performance is not always a solitary thing for her.

"I get to do it with my sisters," she said. "This is my family, and this is my home. And this is where I have a heart and this is where I come when I need anything."

Teammate Leigha Zimmerman couldn't agree more.

"I love them," she said of her teammates. "They are amazing. If you are down, they put you back up. And they always are by your side and they never, ever leave your side."

This is the seventh year for the Celebration Talent regional to be in Biloxi, and it's the 10th anniversary of the New Orleans-based company.

Saturday's event attracted almost 200 entries with multiple dancers in two age categories: 12 and younger and 13 and older.

But, not every dance is a competition. Some of it is just fun stuff.

Then came the moment regional director Brittany Hunt likes the best, the awards.

"It's a wonderful scene seeing these kids' faces light up when they receive a trophy or a special award," she said. "It's nice. Feels good."

Danielle Harvill of the Waveland troupe received the highest score solo for the 12 and younger category.

"I feel kind of nervous that I'm going to mess up," she said. "But I don't mess up."

Her mom, Betsy Harville, is reliving her childhood through her daughter.

"I grew up dancing, and so to see my daughter love it and be able to share her talent to glorify God," she said, "it's just ... it's amazing."

Any nerves are just temporary.

"Once you hear the music and let your heart go," Harleigh said, "you really enjoy that feeling, and you dance with your heart."

Celebration Talent has regional competitions throughout the country competing for the right to go to one of two national competitions. One is in Orlando, the other in Wisconsin.

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