Dancing to the top: Local dance team wins top awards at competition

Jordan Meier
Dancer and teacher Elle Burgess leads Dance Pitt dancers in a stretch. Burgess's solo was ranked 4th overall at competition

PITTSBURG, Kan. — After a grueling week of competing in Branson earlier this month, members of the Dance Pitt’s competitive teams walked away with some of the highest awards given at the event.  

“This has been a really awesome season, definitely our best season yet,” owner Sadie Bicknell said. “We have been so successful because we have a really strong staff that works well together, and we have kids and families that are committed not just to dance, but to our studio and the family environment that we have.”  

Dancers of all ages from the Dance Pitt—which is located in Frontenac—competed in over 50 dances at the Edge Talent Competition and walked away with more than 46 “overall” awards, making them one of the highest decorated companies at the competition. 

“They do several different awards throughout the whole competition,” owner Sydney Wilson said. “The girls within their age and style of dances can win overall awards and we won many overalls, but on top of that, some of our dancers won the entire competition, which was amazing. So, they take the scores from the entire competition, the whole weeklong and our dances were the top scores.”  

The Dance Pitt dancers after winning one of the "overall" awards

While getting recognition for all their work is great, dancer Anne Marie Martin said getting to perform with her dance family is really the best part.  

“It was nice to win,” she said. “But I think the big part for me, was that I was able to do it with a whole bunch of dancers that I love. I love to perform, but when we are on stage you feel free because you are able to express yourself, you’re able to express how you feel in that moment, and when you get to connect with those people on stage, it's probably better than winning.”  

Emma Scott, a dancer who graduated from Fort Scott Senior High this year, says dancing has made her more confident and has given her a voice.  

“I have been a lot more comfortable, and I’ve gotten out of my shell a lot because of dance,” she said, adding that she loves the atmosphere the Dance Pitt provides.  

“I enjoy the family atmosphere and getting to travel,” she said. “I like the healthy competition and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.”   

The Dance Pitt in Frontenac has been around for a decade and was started by Bicknell and Wilson.  

“This dance studio means everything to me,” Bicknell said. “These kids and this family that we have built together, I just love it. This is something I have wanted to do my whole life, is to be a dance teacher. The goal was never really to own a studio but now that I do with Sydney it’s just incredible.”  

The dance studio offers classes ranging from ballet to hip hop for many different ages and skill levels.  

Dance Pitt team at the Edge competition in Branson.