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Abele wins national Reflections award in choreography

Published 11:25am Friday, May 24, 2013

MADISON – Aija Abele has received the 2012-2013 National PTA Reflections Award of Merit for her choreography, “I Was Here.”

Abele is one of only two students from Alabama to receive this national award.

For 40 years, National PTA Reflections has encouraged students across the nation and American schools overseas to explore their talents through the arts.

“I’ve been dancing for 10 years, eight years at The Dance Company in Madison,” Abele said. “I have been part of their competition team for the last four years. In addition, I’m involved with the honors ballet program at the studio.”

With The Dance Company, Abele has performed in annual recitals for eight years and honors ballet excerpts of “The Nutcracker.”

A student at Discovery Middle School, Abele participated in the Student Government Association as vice president, National Junior Honor Society and the volleyball team, along with playing club volleyball.

For Reflections, Abele choreographed an original piece based on this year’s theme, “The Magic of a Moment” and submitted a DVD. She also wrote an artist’s statement explaining how the theme inspired her: “‘The Magic of a Moment’ is when you show that you don’t want to just exist, but you want to show everyone that ‘I was here.’”

She hoped for the best and wanted her piece to touch the judges. “You never know how your piece of choreography will be interpreted by the judges,” Abele said.

She chose Lady Antebellum’s “I Was Here” as accompaniment. “It’s a very pretty song and fun to dance to … and uses all the different accents and sounds. The dance easily lent itself to the choreography,” Abele said.

Her parents are Roberts and Gundega Abele. Her father works at Continental Automotive. “My mom is a professional volunteer for anything,” Aija said. Her sister Lija, 10, attends Rainbow Elementary School. The family moved to Madison in 2005.

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