On the road to Charleston

Emma Thompson, Ja’Niya Spivey, Ja’Harmony Kelley, Montasia Jackson, Te’Lissia Stone, Ry’Mylliyna McKinney, Cerynity Price and Carnaeja Waver of Alexander City's The Studio Arts and Education will compete in Charleston, South Carolina, later this month after bringing home three awards in the Birmingham contest.

Eight Alexander City pre-teens will compete at the National Applause Talent competition on June 27 at the Charleston Performing Arts Center in North Charleston, South Carolina. The eight 9- to 12-year-old girls, students of Kenyatta Simmons at The Studio Arts and Education, qualified for the national event on April 6 at their first-ever competition held at the Alabama Theatre in Birmingham.

“Right before the girls got on stage, they were crying, shaking and nervous because we saw over 60 different routines that didn’t look anything like us,” Simmons said. “But they won three awards.”

The team won the Double Platinum and Judges Choice awards for most powerful performance and took Fifth Place overall fro the junior division. If the girls score in the top three of their division at nationals, they will compete on June 30 for the Best of the Best title.

Simmons is a teacher at Radney Elementary School in Alexander City.