Alfonso Academy dancers win highest scoring routine out of 800 performances at Platinum National Dance Competition

Alfonso Academy’s five New Light Dance Project (NLDP) members competed in the Platinum National Dance Competition at the Marina Civic Center in Panama City, Florida, from Monday, June 12th to Saturday, June 17th.

As a group, NLDP owned the competition, with their performance of “Believe” winning Top Lyrical Teen Elite Small Group and First Place Overall Teen Elite Small Group out of ten routines.

Perhaps the biggest honor of all resulted from Addison Jenrich and Elle Danjean’s duo performance entitled “Interlaced,” choreographed by Melissa “MJ” Jackson. It was the highest scoring routine for the entire week out of 800 routines, and won the Best of the Best Battle in the Elite Grand Championship Gala. “Suspension of Curiosity” was also one of the top eight highest scoring routines and performed in the Best of the Best Grand Champion Battle with “Interlaced.”

NLDP members racked up an impressive list of accomplishments and awards individually. Addison Jenrich won Teen Miss Platinum Nationals 2017 and Elle Danjean won the Best of the Best Elite Solo Battle award for “Distal Points Expanding Through Molecular Structure.”

Henley Dowdy took home 15th Place Overall Elite Teen Solo, and Sydney Reaves placed 7th for Overall Junior Elite Solo.

“This was New Light Dance Company’s very first National Competition and I’m so proud to see how they stepped up and performed,” said Alfonso Academy Founder and Director, Mary Elizabeth Alfonso. “Their dedication and hard work brought home top awards, but more importantly with a stronger sense of confidence!”

Alfonso Academy Wins Best in Destin Award for the Second Year in a Row

We are extremely thankful to have won VIP Magazine's Best 2017 Destin Award for best Dance, Ballet, and Gymnastics studio! Here's to all of our beyond talented dancers who make our job so worth it. This is the second year in a row that we've won a Best In Destin Award, which truly means so much after just two years of business, the premier season of New Light Dance Project and a little over a year in our new space. 

There is always more to come—we're excited to unveil what the future holds. Here's to continuing to defy and define!

Alfonso Academy dancers earned High Gold Award

Alfonso Academy dancers earned the High Gold Award and were invited to perform the 11 o'clock number at the closing show of the 24 Seven Dance Competition held in New Orleans in February.

The academy's pre-professional dance company, New Light Dance Project, earned the award for its contemporary piece, "Believe," choreographed by academy Director Mary Elizabeth Alfonso.

Dancers included Elle Danjean, Addison Jenrich, Tatumn Dowdy, Henley Dowdy, Sydney Reaves and Jodi Miceli.

The teen contemporary group also earned an 11 o'clock number with "Suspension of Curiosity," choreographed by Melissa Jackson. Dancers included Addison Jenrich, Elle Danjean, Henley Dowdy and Jodie Miceli.

Addison Jernich also placed third overall in the teen contemporary solo category.

An 11 o'clock number is a stage term that describes big songs at the end of a performance.

Full article here.

Alfonso Academy dancers earn High Gold Award

By Special to The Log


In the theater world, it's a big deal to be invited to dance the "11 O'Clock Number" at the closing show. Alfonso Academy dancers were asked to do just that after earning top honors at the 24 Seven Dance Competition earlier this month at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans.

Alfonso Academy's pre-professional dance company, New Light Dance Project, won High Gold, Second Overall Junior Group, and was invited to close out the competition with the 11 O'Clock dance with their contemporary dance entitled "Believe," choreographed by Alfonso Academy Founder and Director Mary Elizabeth Alfonso. New Light Dance Project performers include Elle Danjean, Addison Jenrich, Tatumn Dowdy, Henley Dowdy, Sydney Reaves and Jodi Miceli.

The Teen Contemporary Group made up of Jenrich, Danjean, Henley Dowdy and Miceli also earned an 11 O'Clock award to perform "Suspension of Curiosity," choreographed by Melissa Jackson at the closing showcase.

Both 11 O'Clock groups received a $250 competition voucher and free entry to the 2017 Dance Awards in either Las Vegas or Orlando.

Jenrich won third overall in the Teen Contemporary Solo category for her dance called "The Evicted Soul," choreographed by Jackson. Jenrich's routine also landed a near perfect score (between 291 and 300 points, 300 being the maximum), earning her a Stop the Clock Award, which was given to just three dancers throughout the entire competition.

"Interlaced," choreographed by Jackson and danced by Jenrich and Danjean, won first overall with a High Gold Award.

Danjean won the Weekend Warrior Award from Lauren Adams; Reaves won a tap class scholarship; and dancer Tatumn Dowdy won a jazz and contemporary dance scholarship.

"It's truly an honor that both of our groups earned 11 O'Clock Awards and we were able to close out the show," said Alfonso. "I'm so proud of their dedication and look forward to see their growth in upcoming competitions."

Alfonso Academy will host their annual dance concert on Saturday, June 3, at the Linkside Center at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. For more information, go to or find Alfonso Academy on Facebook and Instagram.

Published by the Walton Sun.

Dancers, young scientists recognized with awards—

Dancers from the Alfonso Academy competed at the Stageone National Dance Competition in Mobile midway in January.

Addison Jenrich, 13, placed first overall in Teen Solo for her contemporary dance, "The Evicted Soul." Addison also earned the Special Achievement Award for Technical Excellence for her lyrical solo, "Gold."

Placing second in the Overall Teen Solo category was Elle Danjean, 15, for "Personify," as well as the Special Achievement Award for Precision. A second solo, "Falling Short," earned Elle a scholarship to One Dance Intensive in Oklahoma.

Together, the dancers placed first for their contemporary piece, "Interlaced," and second overall for a lyrical dance, "Beautiful Things."

The Alfonso Academy combines a homeschool education program with dance instruction.


The Milton High School band hosts a mattress fundraiser on Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the school's cafeteria. The event showcases beds in a variety of sizes and styles. Some brands will offer up to a 50 percent discount, with proceeds helping the band.

"The bands average between 50- to 60-percent from the sales," said Joli Jones, who owns Custom Fundraising Solutions with her husband, Adam Jones. "The band pays no upfront costs."

CFS assists area schools with such fundraisers, with Joli and Adam covering the western part of lower Mississippi and heading east into Walton County.

Read the full article here.


Alfonso dancers earn top placement at competition - Destin Log

Alfonso Academy dancers came ready to compete at the Stageone National Dance Competition held Jan. 21-22 in Mobile, Alabama. They swept the stage and all entries won double platinum scores — the highest score achievable at the competition.

Notable wins include 13-year-old Addison Jenrich, who won 1st Overall Teen Solo at the elite level for her contemporary dance called "The Evicted Soul," choreographed by renowned dancer and choreographer Melissa "MJ" Jackson. Jenrich also earned the Special Achievement Award for technical excellence for her lyrical solo titled "Gold."

Elle Danjean, 15, won 2nd Overall Teen Solo at the elite level for her dance called "Personify." She also won a full scholarship to the prestigious One Dance Intensive in Oklahoma, along with the Special Achievement Award for choreography for her contemporary solo titled "Falling Short," choreographed by Renee Baldwin. In addition, Danjean earned the Special Achievement Award for precision for "Personify."

Both dancers performed in the teen duo/trio elite level and won 1st place overall for their contemporary dance called "Interlaced," choreographed by Jackson, and 2nd place overall for their lyrical dance called "Beautiful Things." The group also won two special achievement awards — one for choreography in "Interlaced" and one for precision in "Beautiful Things."

"I couldn't be more proud of our dancers and their performances throughout this entire competition season," said Alfonso Academy owner Mary Elizabeth Alfonso. "Their talent shines through, and their hard work spent in the studio over the last few months has paid off."

This summer, Alfonso Academy will host its second annual summer intensive program and will also hold three auditions for their pre-professional dance company, New Light Dance Project, in June, July and August. Private auditions are also available upon request. Dates and times for the summer intensive and auditions to be announced soon.

Destin Log Link Here.

Alfonso Academy Summer Programs

Alfonso Academy will be hosting two summer programs, including a Summer Intensive Program for intermediate and advanced dancers from July 18-22, 2016, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. Celebrity instructors will include Alexa Anderson, Matt Aylward and Melissa “MJ” Jackson, who have performed on Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance and more. Registration is $250 per student.  Little ones, ages 2-10, are invited to participate in the “New Light Littles Fine Arts Camp” July 11-15, 2016, for a week of crafts, dancing, singing, drama and more. The week will end with a mini star-studded performance to display the week’s activities. Registration is $175 per child. Space is limited for both programs. For more information or to register for either summer program, click here. 


Call for Auditions: Alfonso Academy Day Program & New Light Dance Project

Auditions for Alfonso Academy for the 2016-2017 dance season from September to May will be held SATURDAY JULY 23, 2016 after our Summer Intensive and Grand Opening week. The auditions are for any dancer interested in the Day Time Program and/or the New Light Dance Project. Ages 5-18 are welcome to audition

Alfonso Academy is home to the New Light Dance Project, an emerging pre-professional dance company. The mission of NLDP is to spread new light about the art of dance in our community, as well as, allow dancers to become true technicians and self-made artists in dance. We strive to provide as many professional experiences to your dancer and allow them to grow into the dancer we know they can be. Various local and regional performance opportunities will be available. The company will consist of a two groups including a Premier Company and Prime Company and will work with local and guest artists. All rehearsals and classes for NLDP will be held during Evening Program hours. Ages 5-18 are welcome to audition.

Our Day Time Program provides elite dance training to those who seek a professional career in dance or who have the flexibility to work during the day on their passion of dance. It started as a program designed for home school students, blended school programs, and online curriculum students to meet in a fostering environment to develop the whole person, mind, body, and soul. Elementary – High School ages welcome to audition. 
*Note* - If selected, both the New Light Dance Project and the Day Time Program requires an interview process.

Audition Attire: GIRLS: Black leotard and Pink Tights, Hair secured back BOYS: All Black
*Please bring Ballet, Jazz, and/or Half soles. 

Audition Schedule:
Ages 5 -11
10am – 11:30 AM

Ages 12 & UP

Please arrive early to fill out necessary paperwork and warm-up. All auditions are class-based and will include techniques of ballet, jazz, contemporary/modern, and dance improvisation. 

Need more information or cannot attend the auditions? Please contact the Director, Mary Elizabeth Alfonso and/or set up an alternate audition time.

A parent meeting for the New Light Dance Project and the Day Time program will be held post auditions TBA.

Alfonso Academy hosts Inaugural Dance Concert: A New Beginning

Alfonso Academy, South Walton’s newest dance academy, will premier their Inaugural Performance Concert on Thursday, May 26, 2016, at the Linkside Exhibit Hall at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. The community is invited to attend this free concert to see Alfonso Academy’s students of all ages perform group and solo dances in genres from ballet, contemporary, jazz, improvisation and more.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and concert begins at 6:30. 

Alfonso Academy Dance Concert Sandestin South Walton

Alfonso Academy Premiers in South Walton, Miramar Beach

Alfonso Academy officially launched in January upon completion of their expansive new studio, located at 12598 US Highway 98 West, behind the Emerald Coast Urgent Care in the Star Executive Building in Miramar Beach. Evening classes in jazz, ballet, contemporary and improvisation are available for all levels of experience from ages two and up.  The Academy also seeks to be a fine arts center, offering both an academic and dance education program for elite dancers that wish to excel into a performing arts career or professional dance company. Alfonso Academy offers a half-day program as well as a full-time private school enrollment program, which requires an audition and interview process. Alfonso Academy has also established the New Light Dance Project, a pre-professional dance company. Auditions for both the day program and New Light Dance Project Dance Company are to be held Saturday, July 23, 2016.

Founder and Director, Mary Alfonso, holds a Masters in Art from New York University, and worked in the Joffrey Ballet School under the esteemed Jo Matos. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Alfonso began dancing at a young age at the Rhonda Edmundson School of Dance. She later went on to receive her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Education from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. She has also studied at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, as well as the Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance in Greenwich, England. Alfonso is also a proud member of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) and the Florida Dance Education Organization (FDEO), in addition to being a past board member for the New York State Dance Education Association. Her immense knowledge and experience now translates into her choreography and students. Alfonso and her husband have been South Walton locals since 2012. 

Mary Elizabeth Alfonso_Alfonso Academy_Destin_30A_SoWAL