Daria Lamberson of Tualatin wins two top titles in Las Vegas
by: Carla Webber, WINNING TEAM — Creslynn Morris (left) choreographed the dance that helped Daria Lamberson win the top title at the recent International Dance Challenge National Championships in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS - Tualatin resident Daria Lamberson turned in a stellar performance July 27 at the International Dance Challenge National Championships in Las Vegas to win the title of Miss Junior IDC 2006 as well as the Junior Female Solo Challenge Championship.

Daria, 12, has trained in dance and gymnastics at Tigard's Westside Academy since she was 6 years old. She is a member of the Westside Performing Company and the elite acrobatic performing program, which is comprised of groups of performers who train in ballet, acrobatics, tap, jazz and modern dance.

Daria's solo performance, performed to instrumental excerpts from 'That's Entertainment,' won first place among a field of talented contenders from the U.S., France, Canada, Japan and Mexico.

Her winning dance routine, which was choreographed by Creslynn Morris of Sherwood, combined classical dance techniques with precision acrobatic elements, including front aerials, back layout and high-stepping hand-walks.

Her performance is scheduled to be televised on a local cable channel in late September (details of the program will be determined later). Out of 259 competing routines, Daria's solo was one of only eight to be selected for the show.

Other Westside dancers also favorably represented Oregon at the July competition.

Strong solo performances were turned in by Karen Huddleston, who won a scholarship to the Broadway Dance Center in New York, Claire Avakian and Mahina Moon.

All of the Westside group's routines earned top-rated platinum awards, as did most of their duo and trio performances.

'Happiness Hotel,' one of the group routines, also earned a spot in the Art Global Entertainment Dance-Off.

'Lorelei,' an adagio piece with synchronized lifts and acrobatics, which was performed by Daria Lamberson, Karen Huddleston, Nick Katen and Ross Katen, earned a second-place overall high score in the small-group division.

'That's Right, You're Not from Texas,' an energetic and comical fast-stepping tap routine performed by Ross Katen, Nick Katen and Nathan Avakian, earned third place in the overall high score for the duos/trios category.

Ross Katen was first runner-up for the Senior Mr. Dance title, and the 'Texan' trio earned scholarships to the Broadway Dance Center in New York.

The dancers were accompanied to Las Vegas by their dance teachers, Creslynn Morris, Erica Woolsey, Erin Staley and Carla Webb.

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