Jaron and Brittany McCree couldn’t be prouder of their tiny dancer, Jordyn Kalani.
BY DEXTER MCCREE, Feature Writer
NORFOLK, Va. — It has been a year since the glamorous and flamboyant Jordyn Kalani performed in a grand finale with “Toe 2 Toe Dance & Wellness Studio Company,” located in the Norfolk area of Virginia. The young entertainers annually showcase their talents at the Kroc Center to culminate the year of dance performances.
This is a special year for Jordyn, an 8-year-old third grader with ties to St. Pete. Her dad, Jaron DeVon McCree, is a graduate of Boca Ciega High School and a 12-year veteran of the United States Navy. She has been dancing for four years and has developed confidence for an expanded role in the 2022 grand finale show.
“I just wanted to try out dancing because it felt like it was my second talent. My first is singing, and I thought I might be able to dance too,” said Jordyn.
In her first year in dance, she discovered it was more difficult than anticipated. Dancing is an artistic expression requiring individuals to tell the audience a story by clapping their hands, tapping their feet, and sliding side-to-side with choreographed precision. This requires dancers to be physically fit and spend an exuberant amount of time practicing.
Toe 2 Toe dancers commit to a 30 for 30 Challenge. The goal is to get moving and be physically active for 30 minutes daily in June. They are also challenged to complete one mile a day in September and October in preparation for additional training necessary for a high-impact dance performance.
She discovered that many dancers ride their bicycles to achieve the 30 for 30 goals. The aim is to be physically moving.
Jordyn expressed that since she started dancing, she has felt happy, excited, and proud of herself. She points to encouragement from her parents and being an example for her younger sister as her motivation.
“We dance a lot, and my dance instructor, Miss Brittany, says that we are like sisters. I do not doubt that because we spend a lot of time together.”
Aside from the camaraderie, Jordyn said the dancing helps her become more flexible by warm-up stretching, display confidence with facial expression training, manage stage fright by gaining dance studio experience, and increase discipline in school due to the focus on preparing for recitals.
“The day before the recitals, we have to prepare our makeup, ready our outfits, double check that our outfits are in our garment bags, and then rehearse the recital to correct any mistakes that we have,” explained Jordyn.
With four years of growth, she participated in three dances: the opening number, a tap routine to the tune “Good to Be Alive,” and performed a ballet dance to “That’s Not My Name.”
This indeed is a special year for Jordyn, and her family is in the audience to witness it. Her dad is taking pictures and her mom, Brittany McCree, is backstage as a parent volunteer. Her Florida family gave support, which helped her to a fourth-place finish in the fundraising competition, so she was presented with a trophy on stage.
Jordyn smiled from ear to ear with a gleam in her bright eyes.