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Volume 26, Number 5 — May 2019

Arts for Youth Spotlight: Avery Thomas

Avery Thomas is seen here with her trophy from the Epic Dance Showcase.
Avery Thomas is seen here with her trophy from the Epic Dance Showcase.
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Avery loves to dance

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | December 28, 2016

Avery Thomas fell in love with dance when she was in the fifth grade. Her best friend found Grace Studio of Motion and Dance and invited her to go with her. "After that, I fell in love with it," Avery says.

Avery studies ballet, jazz, modern and hip-hop. She served as the student assistant for pre-k ballet, jazz and hip-hop in 2015-16 and is excited to lead those classes this year.

She is a member of the studio's dance competition team and won first place overall in 2016 for her lyrical solo at the Epic Dance Showcase.

"I won first over-all in recreational at Epic Dance Showcase along with a special judges award, a scholarship for their convention, and I was featured on their Facebook page. It meant a lot to me to win, I realized my hard work paid off," Avery says.

The competition she entered was a regional competition held in Sevierville, Tennessee. Epic Dance Showcase has more than 30 years of dance convention and competition experience. They use a system that acknowledges studio size, so contestants compete on a level playing field, it is similar to divisions in college sports. They offer three levels of competition and two divisions of overall awards.

She says her influences are her teachers, April Grace and Kelli Slagle, along with Tyler Nelson and Sam Faulkner.

"I love how dance allows you to express yourself and be free. Dancing, to me, is more than an extracurricular activity, it is a way to be free and escape reality. My favorite type of dance would probably be jazz. It's so exciting and you can just dance around and have fun.

"I'm not exactly sure what I want to do in the future, but I do know I want to continue dancing in some way. Whether it's just for fun, competitively or becoming a dance teacher," she says.

When Avery isn't dancing, she enjoys doing stuff with her youth group and hanging out with friends.

She is the 14-year-old daughter of Alanna and Brian Thomas. She is a ninth-grader at Abingdon High School, Abingdon, Virginia.

Avery Thomas