Detroit Dominates At Maccabi Games
There’s no dancing around the fact that Detroit’s dance team did quite well at the JCC Maccabi Games & ArtsFest last month in southern California.
Detroit’s roster of 13 experienced competitive dancers earned medals in 15 of the competition’s 20 routines.
“That was the largest Detroit dance team we’ve in recent years that’s traveled to another host city,” said Detroit dance coach Linda Taylor.
Taylor said word of mouth was a big reason for Detroit’s big dance roster.
Word of mouth also is a big reason why Detroit regularly has four-year dancers at the Maccabi Games like Alex Mison and Haley Whelan, who carried the Detroit delegation banner in this year’s Maccabi Games opening ceremonies.
“Our success every year attracts dancers to our team. And the Maccabi Games are so much fun,” Taylor said. “The lifelong friends our girls make at the Maccabi Games is as much if not more important than the dancing.”
Most of the girls on this year’s Detroit dance team compete out of Studio A Walled Lake. Taylor said Studio A was a big help to her this year.
“They were very gracious in letting us use some of their choreography for dances and helping some of our girls with their solos, especially those who hadn’t done solos in competition,” she said.
Taylor said the Detroit dance team’s preparation for the Maccabi Games begins long before the games themselves.
“Our team rehearses for two or more hours each Sunday starting in March and ending in late July,” she said. “Often, there will be more rehearsals beyond the Sunday schedule.
“Each of our dancers has a strong support system of family members, professionals from the studios where they study dance all year, and Maccabi alumni.”
Taylor has been the Detroit dance team coach for four years, but she won’t be coaching the team next year when the Maccabi Games are hosted by Detroit. She’ll be organizing and running the dance competition.
“We’ll need a couple of Detroit dance coaches because we should have a big Detroit dance team,” Taylor said. “I’m hoping several Detroit dance team alumni will help me out with the competition.”
Taylor’s daughter Melanie Taylor, a former four-year Detroit dancer, has been Detroit dance team’s assistant coach for two years.
Here’s a breakdown of the Detroit dance team’s medal haul at the 2018 Maccabi Games:
15/16 Large Group Jazz — Emma Goldschmidt, Mari Lynn, Alex Mison, Chloe Schram, Nicole Spizizen, Rachel Weiss and Haley Whelan for “Run Boy Run”
15/16 Solo Jazz — Alex Mison for “Dangerous”
13/14 Solo Tap — Shayna Foreman for “Jolene”
15/16 Duet/Trio — Cami Krugel, Chloe Schram and Rachel Weiss for “Emergency”
15/16 Large Group Open — Abby Chayet, Shayna Foreman, Dani Gingras, Emma Goldschmidt, Cami Krugel, Mari Lynn, Alex Mison, Sophie Rosen, Emma Salle, Chloe Schram, Nicole Spizizen, Rachel Weiss and Haley Whelan for “Latin Fiesta”
15/16 Large Group Israeli — Abby Chayet, Shayna Foreman, Dani Gingras, Emma Goldschmidt, Cami Krugel, Mari Lynn, Alex Mison, Sophie Rosen, Emma Salle, Chloe Schram, Nicole Spizizen, Rachel Weiss and Haley Whelan for “Israeli Tambourine Dance”
15/16 Solo Lyrical — Chloe Schram for “Always”
13/14 Solo Tap — Emma Salle for “Miss Otis Regrets”
15/16 Duet/Trio — Sophie Rosen and Emma Salle for ”Girls Will Be Girls”
13/14 Small Group Jazz — Abby Chayet, Shayna Foreman, Dani Gingras, Cami Krugel, Sophie Rosen and Emma Salle for “Calling All The Monsters”
13/14 Solo Lyrical — Cami Krugel for “Every Heart”
13/14 Solo Jazz — Abby Chayet for “Kill The Lights”
15/15 Solo Tap — Rachel Weiss for “Say You Won’t Let Go”
15/16 Solo Hip Hop — Haley Whelan for “Till I Collapse”
13/14 Solo Modern — Nicole Spizizen for “Can’t Say You Won’t”
Her cousin Jenner Leib also was on the roster.
Jenner, 13, an eighth-grade student at Warner Middle School in Farmington Hills, has been playing hockey since he was 3 and now plays travel hockey.
He was one of the youngest if not the youngest member of the Detroit hockey team, which lost in the quarterfinals and fell a victory short of playing in the medal round.
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