DMA NATIONAL CONVENTION
An event I look forward to every year is the Dance Masters National Convention. The location changes every year and this time it took place at the Gaylord Resort in Kissimmee, Florida. So why on earth would anyone in their right mind give up their 4th of July holiday to spend about a week with approximately one thousand kids, their teachers, parents and siblings? Manning a booth at an event like this is no small potatoes. Yet there is an atmosphere, a certain something that makes it truly enjoyable.
DMA, in its long history, is very much a family. I have always been amazed at the grueling schedule these kids keep – master classes in all disciplines, scholarship classes, competitions and evening performances. Beginning early in the morning and ending late at night, it never stops. Yet, these young dancers (and some are very young) manage through it all with energy and grace. It’s nice to see them grow both physically and artistically over the years and is a true pleasure to visit with their teachers every time.
So let me tell you about Dina Nina and her success at DMA. She is like a magnet, a pint size ballerina, perfect in every way. The way kids talk about her you’d think she was a real person but in fact Dina Nina is a print on a T – shirt! Her creator, Breno Barbosa, is a Brazilian artist with an obvious eye for capturing movement. His work illustrates Dina Nina dancing her favorite roles, in perfect ballet positions that most of us can only aspire to achieve. She is a delicate swan or a fiery Carmen, a charming Giselle and a brilliant Esmeralda.. Dina Nina does it all with passion. She takes class daily of course (Dina Nina at the barre) and chats with her boyfriend (Hugo Nino) on the cell phone. Occasionally she will dance with her mentor, Dina Terezhina.
Dina Nina has legions of fans. Often, they are waiting for our booth to open to purchase the next shirt for their collection. It doesn’t take long for a crowd to gather. I get such a kick out of it. Dina Nina has truly taken on a life of her own. Her smallest fan is 18 months old, her oldest in her mid- eighties. Such fun!
So we packed our bags at the close of DMA, tired but always happy to bring smiles to so many faces. Dina Nina will begin touring again at the semi-finals and finals of Youth America Grand Prix before returning for an encore to DMA – Los Angeles. See you there!
--- Anne Polajenko
Love from your humble blogger,