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Brewster Dancers Earn Gold At Tap Championships; McNamara World Champ

Pictured from left, front: Jillian McNamara, Mikhaela Ampeloquio, Madison Vendel, Danielle Garcia, Alexa Villega; back: Mackenna Beirne, Rhiannon Pendola, Katelyn Williams, Lindsey Bieber, Samantha Meir. Photo Credit: photo contributed
Brewster High junior Jillian McNamara is now a three-time World Champion tap dancer, winning gold in children, junior and adult categories. Photo Credit: photo contributed

BREWSTER, N.Y. - Jillian McNamara, a Brewster High School junior, took home her third consecutive gold medal for her solo, Burn, commemorating her as the adult world champion at the International Dance Organization's World Tap Championships held last week in Riesa, Germany.

McNamara has also previously won gold medals in both the children and junior categories, making her the first female competitor in the history of the World Tap Championships to win all three age levels.

Ten local dancers from Seven Star School of Performing Arts spent the last week in Riesa representing the United States at the competition. The dancers have been training and rehearsing since last spring, preparing for the competition which draws tap dancers from all over the world - including Canada, Europe, South Africa and Australia.

Dancers proudly representing the USA from Seven Star School come from Brewster, NY; Carmel, NY; Danbury, CT; Brookfield, CT and Weston, CT.

Katelyn Williams received a gold medal for her participation in the formation division with the American Tap Company routine, Bollywood.

Lindsey Bieber, Danielle Garcia, Samantha Meir and Madison Vendel finished sixth overall with the American Tap Company routine, Into The Woods.

McNamara and Mikhaela Ampeloquio received fifth-place honors for their duet. Garcia, Meir and Vendel also placed fifth for their trio.

Mackenna Beirne (from Danbury) and Rhiannon Pendola (from Carmel) also finished 8th in a Trio with Ampeloquio and 10th in a duo with each other. In addition, both Beirne and Pendola have previously won gold medals in the Junior category.

The below dances also performed and made it into the top 15: Beirne - Adult Solo, Beirne, Ampeloquio,  Pendola - Adult Trio;  Beirne and  Pendola - Adult Duo;  Meir,  Bieber, Vendel, Williams, Alexa Villega, Danielle Garcia - Junior Group; Meir and Vendel -Junior Duo; Bieber and Williams - Junior Duo.

Since 2008, over 20 Seven Star School dancers have represented Team USA, and have won over 20 medals, nine of which are gold.

In order to travel to Germany, dancers must first qualify through an audition in June, and only three slots per age category and division are allotted. SSSPA qualified to represent the USA tap team in the solo, duet, trio, group and formation divisions in the junior (ages 12-15) and the senior (16 & over) categories.

Seven Star School is located at 509 Route 312 in Brewster.

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