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Dance studio nominated for national award

On the heels of their Walt Disney World Resort performances, staffers from Pat’s School of Dance will head to Hollywood, California for the 7th Annual Industry Dance Awards & Cancer Benefit Show on Aug. 15.

For the first time in the school’s almost 50-year history, Pat’s School of Dance and their “Be Our Guest” Musical Theater Performance have been nominated for an Industry Dance Award. Their performance is one of 10 finalists.
Through a meticulous selection process that spans nine national dance competitions, four dance conventions, and the entire professional dance community, the Industry Dance Awards recognizes performers and dance icons in numerous categories.
Pat’s School of Dance competed regionally in March, receiving nominations for the best musical theater, best tap and best hip hop performances. The school learned on Friday that its musical theater performance was selected as one of the top ten finalists.
“This event is like the Tony Awards of competitive dance. Most of the nominees are from big cities and huge dance studios. But here we are,” said Sher Shepherd Phillips, co-owner and director of the studio. “We were ecstatic to have three dances nominated from regional. Then to have a dance selected for the finals was very, very exciting. We are thrilled and the students are thrilled. Now we just pray and wait.”
This is an exciting year for Pat’s School of Dance. Following the Industry Dance Awards, Sher, along with husband, Dustin, will focus on choreographing the halftime show for the 2018 Holiday Bowl, a college football bowl game to be held on New Year’s Eve in San Diego. Sher and Dustin choreographed the 2015 Holiday Bowl and the 2016 Orange Bowl half-time shows along with the 77th annual Pearl Harbor Day Parade and Opening Ceremonies.
The bowl game halftime show will have 300-600 dancers from all over the nation. A video of Sher and Dustin’s choreography is sent to all the dance schools with participating performers. The dancers learn the choreography from the video. In the days leading up to the bowl game, all the dancers gather in a large convention center ballroom in San Diego. The ballroom is marked off like a football field and the performance is rehearsed and finalized and made TV ready.
“We already have a couple of students signed up to participate in the Holiday Bowl show, but we’ll have many more,” Sher said. “It’s a great opportunity for our students to travel with their dance friends, see the world and make memories. We try to provide as many opportunities as we can for our dancers.”