All Utah ‘World of Dance’ contestants have ties to Orem dance studio

Jun 5, 2018, 10:18 PM | Updated: Jun 6, 2018, 6:43 am

OREM, Utah – It’s no coincidence that all Utah contestants on “World of Dance” this season have ties to the same studio. Instructors at Center Stage Performing Arts in Orem say it is because their students work hard, have discipline, and are passionate about what they do on the dance floor.

“The more we hold that standard, the more we train and develop amazing talent,” instructor Kerri Deshler said.

The award-winning studio is known worldwide and most recently got recognition when students placed second in the 2018 Blackpool Dance Festival in England last week. Deshler said for years, talent has attracted talent to their facility.

“You’ll see how much they push each other. They compete against each other and you just start to see it snowball,” she said.

It is those who give it their all that have no problem reaching the top. Jaxon Willard, one of this season’s “World of Dance” contestants is living proof.

“Being from the same studio as, like, Derek Hough, Jenna Johnson is, like, super crazy because then we all have these big expectations that we want to live up to,” Willard said.

Related: Utah teen wows ‘World of Dance’ judges with choreography, touching background

Operations Manager Brandy Brinkerhoff said the center works with nearly 700 students, ages two to 18, who train in a variety of dance styles. The center offers classes in jazz, ballet, ballroom, hip hop, tumbling, tap, and breakdancing to dancers of all skill levels.

She said with all the hours these students spend practicing and competing together, they become like family.

“We are so proud of the kids and how far they’ve come,” Brinkerhoff said. “We have seen them start when they are three years old and then just grow and blossom through the program.”

Related: Utah performers hope to impress ‘World of Dance’ judges

Her students not only win competitions, but they go on to have successful careers. Their former dancers include Julianne Hough, Derek Hough, and Jenna Johnson.

“We also have dancers on ‘America’s Got Talent,’” she said. “We have kids booking jobs in New York and in LA doing commercial work, and it is super fun because we have so much talent all in just one studio.”

Instructors believe it is a program that will continue to improve.

“We are always finding ways we can do it better and you are going to see more amazing talent I think, it’s just going to keep coming,” Deshler said.

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All Utah ‘World of Dance’ contestants have ties to Orem dance studio