The Royal Rockettes Street Battle Competition and Summer Showcase was the first of many more to come and they kicked off with true authenticity with Dancing Dolls Star Daija as their celebrity host and judge for the 2018 competition.
Held to a full house at the gymnasium of the Northwest Buffalo Community Center on Saturday September 1st this new and high energy dance competition was fueled by music from DJ Iceberg, with an incredible and youthful line up of experienced judges. Celebrity host and judge Daija (pictured left) from Dancing Dolls (from TV show “Bring It)” as well as Danielle Simmons , founder of Never Miss Dance Team at Hilbert College, Jarron Mortimer founder of Xquizit Movers Step Team at Buffalo State College and Amaya Walker, a member of Center Stage Dance Company. The fans cheered when Daija of Dancing Dolls came to the stage and the Royal Rockettes were proud to bring the 17-year old Mississippi native and dancing sensation to Buffalo for the very first time. “We brought in Daija from Dancing Dolls because she is an influential and inspiring member of our dance community who is intelligent and an incredible dancer,” said Royal Rockets Assistant Director Ashley Goodwin.
The competition was stiff but the Grand Champion and first place winning team in the dance category went to B.A.S.E. of Buffalo, 2nd place went to Diamonds with Attitude (of Syracuse N.Y.) and the 3rd place winner was Black Diamonds of Rochester N.Y. Other Participating teams in the dance category were Klassy Katz of East Hartford CT, and Virtuous Diamonds (of Buffalo). In the drill category, first place went to Elevation of Buffalo and the 2nd place winner was Gospel Difference (of Buffalo). The Royal Rockettes, the hosting team ,performed as well as Groove Phi Groove Social Fellowship.
Founded in January of 2016 by two sisters, Francesca (director) and Ashley Goodwin (assistant director), the Royal Rockettes Majorette and Dance Team is a mentor-through-dance program that focuses on sisterhood, scholarship and dance that provides team building, healthy exercise through dance and resources to enhance academics and personal outlook on education overall. “We started this competition to promote dance unity and ultimately bring awareness about the importance of education because so many of our community’s children do not have the resources to be successful in school” said Ashley ,who even incorporated backpack giveaways to the audience through educational trivia questions at the opening of the show.
The Goodwin sisters both have over 10 years of dance experience in Tap, Jazz and African as well as Ashley having competitive cheer experience and even Belly Dancing. Not surprisingly, both sisters are products of the iconic Miss Barbara’s School of Dance, currently in its 53rd year of teaching!
Majorette, is a mixture of all dance styles stemming from the HBCU dance lines down south. Not only do the Goodwin sisters have firm roots in dance and education (along with all other members of the staff who are either graduates or completing their studies), they also have a strategy to inspire their students (although they support all college endeavors) to attend HBCU’s. “We are the first HBCU Dance Prep Team in Buffalo that preps dancers for the dance lines down south as they apply for HBCU Colleges… and we stress to our girls that live in underrepresented communities that college is attainable and that education is the way to open up their opportunities,” said Ashley who also points out that the Royal in their team name is to encourage self-esteem and acknowledge their royalty .“Our motto is ‘Walk with a Crown and Dance with a Crown’ “ she continued.
The Royal Rockettes had a successful first annual competition/ showcase and from their track record of starting as a small dance team of five (which has grown to 40 dancers) and having debuted over 50 performances, the likelihood of their 2019 event being even bigger and better is inevitable.
Follow them on FB @Royal Rockettes Majorette and Dance Team or on IG @royalrockettes you can also reach out to find out about enrollment and more at RoyalRockettesBuffalo@gmail. com – L.H. ( front page image by Ron Tillman of the Hosting Dance Team Royal Rockettes with “Hearts Up” gesture with Daija from Dancing Dolls)