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CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — West Texas A&M University announced that the university dance program recognized its top performers at the Dance Banquet and Awards Ceremony on May 4.

Officials with WT detailed that along with awards, the ceremony celebrated the dance department’s two major performances: “Falling into Dance” performed in November 2022 and “Portraits of Dance” performed in April.

“This event is a highlight and delightful way for majors to celebrate the accomplishments and reflect on the past year,” said Crystal Bertrand, director of dance. “These awards recognize dancers who have made an impact in program activities as recognized by their fellow peers, and each award fits in with the program’s goals with the love of learning, passion for growth, and high performance.”

Bertrand along with fellow faculty members Edward Truitt and Sandra Stegelman Miller selected Kynleigh Hilton, a senior dance major from Lubbock, as the winner of the 3D Award. Officials noted that the award recognized the dancer “who exemplifies discipline, determination and desire.”

In addition, Abbi Roe, who is seeking a second bachelor’s degree in dance at WT and hails from Rosewell, N.M., won the Treston Johnson Dance Award which is given to the dancer “who exemplifies the heart and soul of the dance program,” according to officials. The award was named for a dance student who died in 2018.

Further, Sierra Cross, a senior from Lubbock, was honored for outstanding contributions to the WT Dance Academy, officials detailed.

WT released the following dance majors who were also recognized at the ceremony:

  • Spirit Award: Zakyya Taylor, a junior from Lubbock, for encouragement and support of other dancers;
  • Buff Dance Award: Hannah Hosnedl, a senior from Downers Grove, Ill., for passion, dedication and the year’s most impressive performances;
  • Diamond Award: Penelope Welch, a junior from Frisco, for modeling proper classroom and rehearsal etiquette;
  • Discovery Award: Jayden Lucas, a freshman from Amarillo, for making significant and unexpected contributions to the program; and
  • Emerald Award: Kaitlyn Roberson, a junior from Pampa, for embodying the highest aspects of artistry and skill in class, in rehearsal and on stage.

Officials explained that the 2023-24 dance season will include the performance “Falling into Dance” from Nov. 16-19 and “Portraits of Dance from April 25 to April 28, 2024.

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