It’s Your Business: Mint Hill Dance Center

Since 2010, Mint Hill Dance Center has offered the youth of Mint Hill instruction in a wide variety of dance styles.

Owner and director Whitleigh Cook has been dancing in the Charlotte area since she was six years old, going on to receive a B.F.A. in dance from the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

The Center is in its third year, and Cook says they’ve nearly doubled their students each and every year, starting with 10, and having nearly 60 this year. Teaching ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, tumbling, modern, and cultural dance, Mint Hill Dance Center offers classes every night of the week except Sunday, to students ages 3-18.

One of their more memorable performances is this year’s flash mob at Mint Hill Madness. The center is involved in many charities, giving to Relay for Life, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the American Heart Society, among others.

 

MHDC also has a competition team, which began in 2011-2012, has already won a number of awards, and has already begun auditions for the 2012-2013 team. Cook said the studio is currently looking to move from their current location at 4614 Wilgrove-Mint Hill Road to a larger, more central location in the McEwen shopping center on Lawyers Road.

For more info on what MHDC offers or how to register for classes, visit minthilldancecenter.com.

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Barnes acts as ‘home wrecker’ during Homecoming game

Isiah Robinson returns the opening kickoff.

Friday nights’ game between Independence and the host South Meck Sabres took a while to get action going on either side of the ball. Both teams went scoreless in the first quarter. It was not seconds into the second quarter when, Patriots QB Jason Connella connected with his favorite wide out, Dequan Barnes for an 18 yard touchdown catch. Indy went up first, seven to zero at 11:09 left in the second quarter. About three minutes later, Connella kept the ball and ran it 16 yards for the second score of the night for Indy. The extra point was good, and the Patriots were up 14-0 with 8:08 minutes left in the first half.

Defense makes big plays

Senior Jack Tocho made some big plays in the next possession of the ball by South. Tocho made an open field tackle that prevented the Sabres from scoring and also intercepted a pass in the end zone to stop South as they marched down the field into Indy territory.

Getting looks

Barnes would get one more look from Conella before the end of the half. This time, he caught a five yard TD pass with 19 seconds to go before the half. The extra point was no good but Indy led 20-0 at halftime. It would take Independence almost five minutes before they were able to score in the third quarter. Connella looked Barnes’ way again and threw him a 65-yard TD pass. The score is: Indy 27, South Meck 0. Almost four minutes later the Connella-Barnes duo connected again, this time with 29-yard TD pass in the third quarter. The Patriot defense had two more big plays during the next two possessions of the ball by South. Defensive back Deion Washington saved an open field TD run by bringing down the Sabre ball carrier, stopping him on the Independence 14 yard line. Senior LB Chris Turpin put an end to the Sabre drive when he intercepted a pass.

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Daphne’s Grand Opening postponed

Daphne’s Bakery in Mint Hill is postponing the grand opening of their new location at 7609 Matthews-Mint Hill Road until Fri. October 19.  

The grand opening was previously scheduled for Fri. October 12, 3-9 pm, with a ribbon-cutting and light refreshments.

For more info, see the Daphne’s Bakery Facebook page at (www.facebook.com/daphnesbakery)

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Independence DREAM Team to restore neglected trophies

The bomb shelter at Independence High School, now home to hundreds of Big “I” trophies. PHOTOS BY DEREK LACEY

Each year, Noel Hamrick takes her US History class to see the old bomb shelter at Independence High School, leading them out a side door, through a chain link fence, down concrete stairs, and through a hot boiler room.

But the thing most students take away from the trip is not the impact of Cold War tensions, it’s the hundreds of Big “I” trophies stored on rusted shelves in the dank, flood-prone room.

Dating from 1967, the trophies include academic and athletic achievements, everything from small wooden plaques and certificates to huge three-tiered trophies.

“Wow. That’s probably the best word I could use to describe it,” said Ivan Blair, senior at Independence. “It was devastating, I guess you could say…I didn’t know that we had that many trophies, and I definitely didn’t know that they were all down there.” Continue reading

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October Sundays bring new classes to Mint Hill Arts

Retired CMS drama teacher Marta Brown and student practice improvisation. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MINT HILL ARTS

This month, Mint Hill Arts will be offering something entirely new. “A Month of Sundays” is a program at MHA that will feature a different class, taught by a different teacher each Sunday.

Sundays in October, from 1-4 pm at MHA’s Lawyer’s Road gallery, classes are free to attend and will show different techniques of painting, drama and drawing.

The program is an effort to expand awareness and showcase the array of classes Mint Hill Arts has to offer and an experiment in expanding hours to Sunday.

“I’ve had many people say to me, ‘I wish you were open on Sunday afternoons, because that’s when I have free time and that’s when it would be easier for me to get over there and look around and see what’s going on.’” said Judy Mizell, organizer of the program. “So I thought, before we try to take it on as a full-time thing, let’s give it a month and see what kind of reaction we get. Can we get people to come out on Sundays?”

October 7 will start the program with “Watercolor Fun and Easy,” taught by Vicki Crossman, who has been teaching watercolor at MHA for several years.

The second Sunday will feature an improv class, taught by Marta Brown, a retired middle school drama teacher and current MHA teacher.

“A Month of Sundays” organizer Judy Mizell teaches a workshop at Mint Hill Arts.

“The main reason I chose to do the improv on Sunday is because I think it’s a really good skill for people to know how to do,” Brown said. “Because you have to think quickly on your feet, and I think this is something that anybody—adults, any ages—would enjoy doing.”

Week three will be a hands-on drawing demonstration with teacher Ginny Edelen, featuring three different types of drawing: drawing by shape, from the imagination, and by spatial relationships, which will be presented at 1, 2, and 3 pm, respectively.

Edelen, who teaches home schoolers at MHA, said, “I do anything I can to promote it (MHA) because it’s a wonderful service to the community, and this is one way of bringing people in on a day that they might be available.”

The last Sunday, October 28, will be taught by Mizell, who has been teaching at MHA for four years, and will demonstrate pouring techniques in watercolor using different surfaces and

materials to show “some of the exciting results you can achieve when you allow the paint and water to do the work.”

Mint Hill Arts is hoping that the turnout for “A Month of Sundays” will provide enough activity for the gallery to be open on Sundays regularly, and that it helps people to rediscover MHA at their new

facility.

“We would like to get it so more people know where we are and what we have to offer the community,” said Mizell. “We moved from our other location back in the spring to this new location on Lawyer’s road and we’re sort of trying to get people to find us there and that’s part of the reason we wanted to do this.”

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The Big “I” defense makes big plays in win over Providence

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Friday night’s game against the Providence Panthers got off to a quiet start. After each team had the ball on offense, neither could score. Independence was on the board first when RB Isiah Robinson ran for a 13-yard score with 7:26 to go in the first quarter. Robinson’s run capped off a 35-yard drive by […]

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