KENT ISLAND — In a dazzling display of talent and dedication, Kent Island High (KIHS) Kylie Blejwas (grade 11) and Nadia Wilde (grade 10) emerged victorious at the 34th annual Maryland Public High School Dance Showcase held on Friday, January 5, 2024. The showcase featured dancers from forty schools that got to participate in twenty-seven daytime master classes taught by Maryland’s finest professional dancers and educators.
Twenty-one schools performed in the evening concert (after an adjudication of forty-seven pieces submitted by 36 schools). Amber Wright’s Kent Island dancers were chosen as one of the selections for the evening concert. Once the showcase concluded, the spotlight fell on Kylie and Nadia, being awarded All-State medals in dance.
“This is my thirteenth-year dancing,” shared Kylie. “The process [of winning All-State] was a brilliant experience, and with someone who has never taken a modern class before, it was fun to learn something new!”
Kylie went on to share her excitement and tell her dance teachers and the people she looks up to that “I am an All-State dancer!”
Nadia, an underclassman who is equally dedicated with fourteen years of dance experience with Level Dance Project in Annapolis, in addition to dancing for Ms. Wright, expressed her shock and excitement at being selected for All-State during her first-time audition.
“The process of the All-State experience was unforgettable. I absolutely love ballet and I was excited to take another modern class considering I don’t take modern regularly. When I found out I was selected I was in complete shock. It is truly an honor and a huge accomplishment to be an All-State Dancer for 2024.”
Ms. Wright was very proud of Kylie and Nadia. “This is Kent Island High School’s fifth time having students win this prestigious All-State award. It is the first time however, that we have had two winners in the same year!” shared Ms. Wright. “Both students exhibit exemplary work in class and in our dance company as choreographers. These young ladies are an asset to the KIHS dance program. It is my hope that they will continue to be great role models for younger dancers to come.”
Last spring, KIHS’ Dance Program also made history, inducting its first two dancers into their new National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA) chapter formed at Kent Island High. This initiative was created at both QACPS high schools with the support of Supervisor Michael Bell and dance teachers as national sponsors at both high schools.
“This year, we are looking forward to inducting Nadia, and growing our national chapter by inducting more KIHS student dancers,” said Wright. “Kylie and Nadia are so deserving of All-State. Their professionalism, technique, and overall well-roundedness helped them to achieve this award.”
Principal Dan Harding shared, “It was certainly a great day to be a Buccaneer! Kylie and Nadia are absolutely amazing, and under the direction of Ms. Wright (past Teacher of the Year) the sky’s the limit! KIHS is lucky to have such dedicated and talented student-athletes and coach(es)!!”
“I’m incredibly proud of Ms. Wright and her dancers,” added Supervisor Bell. “Beyond the hard work and dedication that contribute to their success, what I admire most is Ms. Wright’s ability to form tight bonds with every kid, regardless of their ability level. Ms. Wright is simply a winner, and it’s evident that kids are thriving and winning because of her leadership!”