There are 47 chapters across the nation that fall under the Dance Masters of America umbrella.
Pampa’s local chapter is the Lone Star Chapter #35 and the teen that won Miss Dance for that chapter is Pampa’s very own Kendyll Roberson.
Roberson, a student at Madeline Graves Dance Academy, earned the Miss Dance title through a rigorous process and earned the right to compete at the national level.
“We always do an interview and audition,” Roberson said. “There’s tap, jazz and acrobatic auditions and the performance we do, which is always a different type of solo, regardless of the genre.”
The Lone Star Chapter includes a few dance academies from Oklahoma, Lubbock and other surrounding communities.
Roberson has been competing in dance for 13 years and competed against eight to 10 girls to win the Miss Dance title for Chapter 35. At the national competition in Dallas, she competed against 25 other girls, where she finished 14th.
“She was competing against other girls who were professionals and have agents,” Madeline Graves, owner of Madeline Graves Dance Academy, said.
Roberson, who is 16, added she was competing against girls who were anywhere from 19 to 21 years old.
Competing is Roberson’s favorite part of dance.
“I love competing and am very competitive,” Roberson said. “I’ve competed since I was five or six years old.”
It’s a similar process at the national competition, where Roberson auditioned with ballet, tap, jazz, modern and acrobatics, followed by her solo performance. Roberson said her two stronger genres are jazz and modern dance.
“The judges have their own scoresheets and score us on technique and our performance,” Roberson said. “I scored the strongest in acrobatics and did very well in the interview.”
Scores are then added to their total audition and interview scores.
Roberson said Dance Masters of America is the biggest competition and will compete in it again in two years.
In the meantime, Roberson will compete in Showstoppers, Talent on Parade and just hone her craft.
“I practice Monday through Thursday and sometimes on the weekends,” Roberson said.
As for some advice for the young dancers out there, Roberson said to never give up.
“Keep pushing for what you want,” Roberson said. “Everyone has their own struggles. Just never stop doing what you love and always try your hardest.”
Kendyll is the daughter of Susan and Keith Roberson. Like her parents, her instructor is also proud of Kendyll.
“I’m very proud of her,” Graves said. “She has a natural talent, but she also puts in the work to get there.”