Jody-Marie Hussey, founder and director of First Dance Studios located in Montego Bay, Jamaica, announced that five of the school’s students will compete in the 22nd Annual World Championship of Performing Arts® (WCOPA) competition. Known as “The Olympics of the Performing Arts,” the event takes place July 6-15, 2018 in the Hollywood, CA area.
“We are so honored to be representing Jamaica and excited about the invaluable experience our students will have from competing on the world stage,” said Hussey. “We see this opportunity as a celebration of our young people, their talent and what can be achieved with determination, hard work and teamwork. Our entire team continues to work assiduously towards our goals and we are looking forward to presenting our best performance ever!”
Twenty-one students age 8-12 were originally selected at the auditions for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but only five will be able to attend due to financial constraints. A YouCaring page has been established to raise the $5,000 needed to ensure the girls can attend.
At the WCOPA competition students will participate in Ethnic/Folk (Dancehall and African), Contemporary/Modern and Hip-Hop/Funk, and in vocals and modeling categories. Contestants representing more than 60 countries will participate in the competition for more than a half a million dollars in scholarships and prizes.
Two students from First Dance Studios participated in the 2016 WCOPA competition in the categories of music, dance, acting and modeling, taking home nine medals for Jamaica. The WCOPA National Director is Lisa Hayles, who grew up in St. James and completed a certificate course in Dance at Montego Bay Community College.
The WCOPA competition is an Olympic-style event for aspiring entertainers and performers. Contestants compete for a panel of judges drawn from all areas of the entertainment industry and participate in a day filled with seminars and workshops conducted by top industry experts.