Locals Claim National Dance Championship Title

A Wiggins dance studio claimed a national title earlier this month among numerous honors.

Jamie’s Performing Arts Studio competed in the Showstopper’s 2022 South Coast Finals Tour and was named Overall National Champion.

“It was definitely an accomplishment for our studio,” said Jamie Davis Howe, studio director and owner of Jamie’s Performing Arts.

The Showstoppers Finals took place in Biloxi from Wednesday, July 6, to Friday, July 8, 2022.

Dozens of dance studios and hundreds of students competed for first place.

“We competed against studios from all over the country,” she said.

Although she has operated a successful dance studio for several years, Howe said this was the studio’s first time dancing for it all.

Previously, Jamie’s competed and placed in three regional championships.

“I went into the competition like I do every other competition: hopeful that our girls do their best but most importantly, have fun while performing,” Howe said.

The strategy paid off.

The studio won two national championships for two routines in respective divisions.

“One group performed a superhero-themed jazz routine, and the other group performed a spider-themed acro tumbling routine,” Howe said of the top-placing routines.

Additionally, dancers won multiple individual awards for solos and other awards for first in category and age divisions.

There are 23 girls on the competition team.

The trophies and medals represent many hours of practice in the studio.

“We started learning routines in the fall and have worked hard since then cleaning and perfecting them,” she said.

Jamie’s teaches everything from classical ballet to modern dances, each challenging in its own way.

The dancers won other contests earlier this year, but a national title for two divisions is a huge accomplishment for any studio.

But Howe’s pride is in her students’ growth.

“Throughout the year, we have had numerous 1st place wins, overall scores, special judges awards, and choreography awards,” Howe said. “It really has been a privilege seeing the growth and accomplishments of these ladies.”