Nine-year-old Kamri Peterson trains in nearly every single dance style at Center Stage Performing Arts in her hometown of Orem, UT, and she's frequently seen competing at The Dance Awards and 24Seven. Over a year ago, she decided to give ballroom a try—and the dance world has taken notice. Kamri and her partner, Marcelo Fitzgerald, placed second in their division at 2017's Brigham Young University National Amateur Dancesport Championships, qualifying them to rep-resent the U.S. at the World Amateur Ballroom Championships in Paris last December. Dance Spirit asked Peterson to record all the exciting details from her first competition overseas. —Courtney Bowers
We love dance documentaries.
So, needless to say, we're pretty crazy excited for DanceSport's upcoming documentary, Do Your Dance, which is set to come out early this spring. Here's the scoop:
Last September, approximately 700 elite competitive dancers from around the globe met in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan for the first-ever World DanceSport Games. It was a celebration of dance as a sport, as well as a demonstration of the common traits shared by multiple styles of competitive dance (everything from ballroom to hip hop to dance team).
Do Your Dance is a one-hour documentary about the first World DanceSport Games, and it promises to be epic. This trailer pretty much says it all:
When 20-year-old Austin Joson and 19-year-old Nino Dzneladze dance, they're completely, intensely connected. Whether they're doing a sharp, energetic jive or a smooth, sensual rumba, their bodies move as one. Their technique is impeccable. Their chemistry is electric. And over the past year and a half, ballroom judges all over the world have taken notice.
Attention ballroom dance fanatics! Get ready to set your DVRs, because we’ve got the perfect fix for your “Dancing with the Stars” withdrawal.
On Monday, July 21st, the PBS documentary series "POV" (Point of View) is featuring two young competitive ballroom dancers in a new film called Dance for Me. The episode follows teen partners Egor and Mie as they experience personal struggles, heartbreak and triumph while trying to make names for themselves in the competitive world of DanceSport. The two don’t always see eye-to-eye, but they both share the same goal: to become legends in the world of ballroom dance. Obviously that’s quite a big goal to have—but this talented pair is putting in the hard work to achieve it.
The stars of Dance for Me, Mie (left) and Egor (right)
(photo courtesy of Sophia Olsson, © klassefilm)
We caught up with Mie Funch (who is, btw, the absolute sweetest!) to chat about the film and see what she’s been up to since it wrapped.
Dance Sprit: What excites you most about the film? And what do you hope viewers take away from it?
Mie Funch: I’m very honored that this will be shown in America. As a young person from Denmark, this is quite big! I'm excited for viewers to understand what it actually takes to be a dancer. I also hope they see that even though you and your partner may be very different—you may even come from different countries, like Egor and I do (he’s from Russia)—you can find ways to communicate and work together to get along. Even if that means agreeing to disagree, it can all work out if you accept your differences.
Mie at the European Championships
(photo courtesy of Sophia Olsson, © klassefilm)
DS: What were your initial thoughts after seeing the documentary for the first time? Are you happy with how it turned out?
MF: I was quite surprised! Seeing myself on the big screen was overwhelming, but I like the film very much. It’s very real. I like that it shows all of the hard work it takes to become an athlete and a dancer at a high level.
DS: What's your training schedule like?
MF: It depends if a competition is coming up or not, but in general, I train six days a week for two to six hours every day. When I’m not in the studio, I like to go running for stamina training. Yoga and ballet are both great for ballroom dancers too!
DS: What are you working toward now?
MF: Currently, I don’t have a partner—Egor and I decided to move on to new partners after we got home from the World Championship in China. Egor is now dancing with another Danish girl and living with her family—he’s very happy. There are so many factors to having a working partnership: chemistry, style, ability and more. So my immediate goal is to find a partner and start dancing competitively again. Many top competitive dancers travel around to find partners, but I can’t relocate yet because I’m still in school. It makes finding a partner quite difficult!
Dance for Me airs Monday, July 21st at 10 pm EST on PBS (check your local listings for times). Watch the trailer here: