NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) – A Newburgh teenager returned Monday from the 2019 International Dance Organization (IDO) World Championships in Ossa, Poland as a world champion.
14-year-old Olivia Taylor earned the gold medal for her solo jazz performance as well as bronze medals for her contemporary solo performance, contemporary duo performance, and contemporary ensemble performance. She also earned a fourth place award for her jazz group ensemble. The competition include Jazz, Ballet, Modern and Contemporary dance categories.
Auditions for The American Dance Company brought some of the best dancers from across the country, vying for a position on the team to represent the USA at the world level. This is Taylor’s third year participating on the team. Team USA competed against more than 8,000 performances from 4,000 dances and over 32 countries across six continents to earn a total of 4 gold, 1 silver, and 5 bronze medals.
“Many people don’t realize that there is no dance competition in the Olympics, this is truly the closest thing to that,” said Kristen Pittman, ADC Central director and head coach. “We’re providing these young people an opportunity to compete on an international stage and the chance to work with some of the best dancers in the world. It’s truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the dancers and I’m honored to lead this team.”
Through this experience each year, Taylor has created friendships with dancers from all over the world.
“Even though we all speak different languages and come from different countries we are basically the same. We all speak the language of dance and all of us feel so much pride representing our countries,” says Taylor.
Taylor is a nationally recognized dancer who trains locally at Thrive Dance Company as well as at School of Ballet Indiana. She attends Castle High School where she is an honor student and member of the school’s dance team. Olivia has been traveling to Little Rock, Arkansas for the past two years to learn choreography and rehearse with the American Dance Company.
(This story was originally published on December 10, 2019)