Published On: Fri, Mar 17th, 2023

Fifteen Students and Student Dance Groups Won “Future Stars” Youth Performing Arts Competition in Boca

Jolie Lavaux MS Dance First Place

Boca Raton, FL – As one winner confided backstage, the talent was exceptional at Tuesday night’s 19th annual Rotary Club of Boca Raton’s “Future Stars” youth performing arts competition.

More than 700 supporters, including families and friends of the performers in 29 acts, applauded their favorites in Mizner Park Amphitheater on March 7 as part of Festival of the Arts BOCA.

After hugs from the seven other vocalists in her category, high school vocal winner Morgan Brooke Wilder said she didn’t know how the judges chose among such outstanding singers. Wilder and other winners and runners up were awarded medals and awards onstage at the show’s conclusion.

Here’s the winners and runners up with their hometowns:

  • High School Vocal Solo 

First Place – Morgan Brooke Wilder, Coral Springs 

Second Place – Marni Gass, Boca Raton

Third Place – Julia Falcao, Boca Raton 

  • High School Dance Solo 

First Place – Natalia Moody, Lake Worth 

Second Place – Gabrielle Kiminyo, Lake Worth 

Third Place – Ayanna Melvin, West Palm Beach

  • Middle School Vocal Solo 

First Place – Alexandria Iglesias, Parkland

Second Place – Lily Bradford, Coral Springs 

Third Place – Bella Nazzaro, Lake Worth 

  • Middle School Dance Solo  

First Place – Jolie Lavaux, Boca Raton 

Second Place -Sasha Altschul, Delray Beach 

Third Place – Alyssa Duesler, Boca Raton  

  • Group Dance 

First Place – That’s Dancing – Honey Dripper, Lake Worth 

Second Place – Precision Youth Ensemble – Sax, Royal Palm Beach

Third Place – Oxbridge Academy – Bad Girls, West Palm Beach 

Director’s Choice 

Neenah Harripersaud, Wellington 

The finale was a performance by Hip Hop Kidz Dance Crews, with their mission statement “No Drugs, No Violence, Just Dance” for the last 27 years. Academies in Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties offer classes for kids ages 5 to teenage and scholarships. “Future Stars” judges this year were:

·      Ann Anello, a professor of Musical Theatre at Florida International University and chairwoman of FIU’s School of Music Advisory Board. As the child performer Ann [Anne] Marie from the 1960s through 1976, Anello had many chart singles.

·      Danielle Jolie Dale-Hancock, director of Lynn University’s Dance Department, has over 40 years of  experience as a professional performer, choreographer, director and producer.

·      Elise Feldman is founder and president of the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater (“AXCBT”) and the Axelrod Performing Arts Academy (“APAA”) in Deal Park,  N.J.

·      Olivia Hollaus is founder and creative Director of Protect My Shoes, known for its patented line of shoe stuffers and other shoe care essentials. She is Style contributor for Boca Magazine.

·      Joanna Marie Kaye is executive director of Festival of the Arts BOCA. She served as radio manager and managing director for WXEL in West Palm Beach.

·      Dr. Stacie Lee Rossow has served as the associate director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Florida Atlantic University since 2002, and is associate chair of the department.

 The Rotary Club of Boca Raton organizes the show, hosted by the city of Boca Raton. Masters of ceremony were Rotary members Dr. Dennis Frisch and Monica Speer. Julie Vianale, Bill Riddick, Chris Maners and Bob Buruchian were co-chairs.

Many “Future Stars” alumni have gone on to college-level study at prestigious music and dance programs and professional careers in the performing arts. Tatiana Nunez, a 2019 “Future Stars” winner, was just featured in the New York Times.

“Future Stars” began 19 years ago when Rotary member Rick Taylor’s daughter was a budding high school vocalist. Taylor believed that talented young people deserved more and better opportunities to showcase their talents.

The mission of Rotary’s “Future Stars Performing Arts Competition” is to inspire young performers by featuring talented high school and middle school performers in a “rock star” quality production. By all accounts, Tuesday’s show hit the mark.

Marni Gass – HS Vocal Second Place

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