The Buford High School Dance Department hosted its third annual Dancing with the Wolves dance show at the BHS Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Oct. 2. 

“Taking our lead from ABC’s hit show ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ non-dance students from Buford City Schools performed and competed with an Advanced Dance student from the BHS Dance department for the coveted mirror ball trophy,” said BHS Dance Director Ashley Smith. “It was a fun night of dancing and entertainment and was a great way to kick off the 2021-22 season!” 

BHS Assistant Principal Dr. Tim Harris hosted the event, which included pre-recorded video interviews with the 11 dance teams, their featured pieces and a finale by the entire troupe. The evening was capped off by the exciting announcement of winners.

The past two years’ shows have featured Advanced Dance students and a BHS teacher. Two consecutive mirror ball trophies have landed in the home of BHS football coach David Snell and BMS math teacher Mrs. Amy Snell, with whom their Class of 2021 daughters shared the stage in 2018 and 2019. This year, Smith chose to change it up and feature other students from throughout the school system — many of whom were family duos, a delight to the audience.

Two winners were announced — a People’s Choice Award, the act with the most audience dollar votes, and the overall champion. The People’s Choice winner was the pair of sisters, Delaney and Sydney Holton. 

“It felt awesome to dance with my sister,” said Buford Senior Academy fourth grader Delaney. “I love her, and I love dancing, so what could be better than dancing with her! Winning People’s Choice felt awesome; I was so happy and surprised!”

The Dancing with the Wolves champion and winner of the coveted mirror ball trophy was the duo of Hallie Walsh and Mariana Borja. The overall champion was determined by judges’ scoring. Criteria included three categories: performance, execution and crowd reaction.

Judges were Callie and Caroline Snell, Class of 2021 graduates and winners of the 2018 and 2019 Dancing with the Wolves competitions, and Kathleen Perkins Welch, a 2011 BHS graduate who danced for 14 years at the Buford School of Ballet and was a member of the BHS Chorus and danced in variety shows during her four years of high school. 

“It was so much fun to dance with my sister for the first time,” said Sydney Holton, Buford High School senior and People’s Choice Award winner. 

Holton has been dancing for 14 years and studies at Heather Wayne’s Performing Arts in Braselton, as well as being a standout performer in Advanced Dance, Musical Theatre, and Chamber Chorus. She is also captain of the BHS Dance Team. “I would like to thank Mrs. Smith for such a special, memorable moment.”

The contestants and their Advanced Dance student partners were:

Buford High School 

  • Anna Cate Smith (junior), who danced with Sela Brannan to “Me Too”
  • Kaden Roberts (senior), who danced with Mara Eva Cline to “Proud Mary Medley”
  • Chantelle D’Silva (junior), who danced with Lilli Engledow to “We Go Together”
  • Josh Mott (junior), who danced with Avery Ardee to “Let’s Hear It for the Boy”
  • Sam Harkness (freshman), who danced with Kate Harkness to “All I Do Is Win”
  • Avery Manley (sophomore), who danced with Olivia Su to “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”

Buford Middle School 

  • Hallie Walsh (seventh grade), who danced with Mariana Borja to “Vivir Mi Vida”
  • Christopher Pope (sixth grade), who danced with Natalie Pope to “All Star”

Buford Senior Academy 

  • Maci Holton (fourth grade), who danced with Makayla Holton to “Break Free”
  • Delaney Holton (fourth grade), who danced with Sydney Holton to “Lifted Up”

Buford Academy

  • Mila and Lincoln Conaway (second grade), who danced with Gracey Conaway to “Hair Up”

Upcoming BHS dance performances:

  • Dec. 8 — Community Holiday Concert
  • Jan. 27-29, 2022 — Seventh annual dance concert: “On Broadway” 
  • May 10, 2022 — Fourth annual Young Choreographer’s Showcase 

FEATURED PHOTO: Contestants celebrate during the Dancing with the Wolves competition held Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at the Buford High School Performing Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Michelle Holton

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