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Tutterow Stars of Tomorrow
sport: noun – athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess (often of a competitive nature)
Blend that definition of dedicated sportsmanship with teamwork and the wonder of art and music, and what do you get? Dancing, of course! Dancing – with all the practice, training, and hard work required to attain awards and titles from such competitions as the 2011 Grand Prix Nationals. Joto’s Top Team of the Month of May – “Tutterow Stars of Tomorrow” – did just that, and was recently recognized for overall high scores and individual placement scores in every division. They had already competed and won in several locations in the United States; and they won regionals in February with all platinum and high platinum awards, qualifying them for national competition which will be held in Orlando in July.
Victory never comes without challenges. Team coaches noted that the 54 dancers, divided into different age categories, must work together as one team. “The challenge is to promote a unified team atmosphere; so we encourage them to support each other, lift each other up, and help each other when needed.”
“Our instructors help the students work together to be the best they can be,” explained director Debbie Kennedy. “They try to challenge the dancers – without overwhelming them.”
Many students expressed appreciation for their instructors. Parent Heather North said, “They are all knowledgeable – and really care for each dancer.” Maria Kadau agrees and appreciates the support and sense of belonging her daughter receives. That support comes from the top on down.
Debbie’s philosophy is that dance “is a great sport – one that takes a lot of dedication and hard work but should be balanced with fun and enjoyment.” And she keeps it that way.
“I love all the dancers as if they are family,” she said, “and take my role very seriously. I am honored to be able to help, in some way, with the molding of their character.”
Debbie began dance training at the age of nine under the direction of Gayle and Phyllis Tutterow, founders of the studio, and has been part of the organization ever since. Debbie and her husband, Ron, started Tutterow Dancers, Inc., which partners with the city of Largo. Tutterow Stars of Tomorrow is the performance company of Tutterow Dancers, Inc. – organized under Debbie’s direction to provide even more opportunities for team performance and competition.
An exceptional choreographer and instructor, Debbie has led numerous dance routines to high ranking titles. She has personally won several awards as well, including Outstanding Choreographer and Most Entertaining.
Ms. Kennedy credits the team’s success to her amazing staff – highly trained, many of whom have performed in prestigious places world-wide and have also won multiple awards:
• Assistant Director and dance instructor Amanda Beamer, holder of many national titles and awards for both dancing and choreography, has performed at the World’s Fair in Spain and Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen, Denmark.
• Ballet Director and dance instructor Mary Frangion, holds many titles and awards and has traveled extensively throughout North and South America, Europe, and Asia. She owned a studio in New Jersey and performed professionally with the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes (New York City). Mary’s choreography continues to win coveted awards at national competitions.
• Carson Aho, Danielle Brown, Michael Brown, Lindsey Day, Alyssa Foster, Katie Hauburger, Samantha Hood, Katryna Kasprzyk, Brittney Kennedy, Kim Rabideau, and Jaclyn Street, are all well-trained, much-appreciated instructors.
Michael Schulz, president of the Rotary Club of Indian Rocks Beach, called Tutterow Stars of Tomorrow “a spectacular dance team – inspiring confidence and integrity in the young dedicated performance artists of our community: a true gem.”
Our local “gem” will soon be shining across the ocean! Besides performing locally at events such as holiday parades, celebrations at Largo Central Park, and their own annual dance recitals, 20 members of the team will be traveling to Europe soon, where they will perform for U.S. troops stationed in Germany.
The group will perform at the German American Friendship Festival and the Horticultural Show in Bamberg. They will even take a dance class at Jointadventures Dance Festival in Munich.
“We will also perform at Euro Disney in Paris, and then travel to Austria for the Sound of Music tour.”
Congratulation for your many victories in competition! We are pleased to recognize you as Top Team of the Month and wish you the best at the upcoming Nationals in Orlando – and in your tour of Europe. Bon Voyage!
Nominate Your Top Team
If you wish to nominate a “Top Team of the Month” please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply drop off your nomination at your local Joto’s Pizzeria.