Dancing to first place


Amanda Lira

During The World of Dance Tour at the L.A. Convention Center on April 6, Cassandra Garcia, 12, won first place for her hip-hop dance routine. “It felt amazing while performing,” Garcia said, “We put so many hours to practice and it paid off.”

Mia Dixon-Slaughter, Co-Editor-in-Cheif

Downey dancer and ROP assistant teacher Cassandra Garcia, 12, took the next step in her dancing career by competing in the World of Dance competition in Los Angeles on April 6.


World of Dance is a competition that focuses mostly on street dancing and choreography. The competition takes place in only 14 states in the United States but is the largest competition in the country.


Garcia auditioned for a place on the 18 and under team. The auditions included learning an entire routine during a one-day workshop with about 100 other dancers auditioning for the same team.


Under the eyes of experienced studio dancers, Garcia felt intimidated but didn’t let that get to her.


“I’m more of a street dancer,” Garcia said, “while the other dancers have been dancing in studios for years or in companies, but I put myself out there and took a chance.”


The dance team coach, Ms. Patterson, thinks highly of Garcia. Once she heard that Garcia was considering it, she told her to audition for the team.


“I encouraged her to audition for the team that took her there,” Patterson said. “I think she needed the reassurance that she was talented enough to be a part of such a prestigious team.”


With the encouragement of her coach, friends and family, Garcia danced her way to the top with the rest of her team.


“I spent the entire day in the dance room with my assistant coach,” Garcia said. “She helped me prepare for almost five hours straight.”


Samantha Cid, 10, heard Cassandra talk about the competition when they were in dance and said she seemed excited to try out.


“She seemed very motivated and she prepared a lot,” Cid said. “You could tell she was serious about doing it.”


Garcia said her motivation came from striving to get ahead in the dance industry.


“I’ve always wanted to do something in an outside dance crew,” Garcia said, “because you get more opportunities and it teaches you more.”


The dancer’s ambition is what got her onto the team and led her all the way to first place in the competition. She now has more experience in dance than before from being taught by professionals that helped her improve. Garcia exposed herself, that ended up paying off for her in more ways than one.