Why we’re Kvelling over Ayden Nelson



Ayden Nelson Takes National Title of Top Enterainer 

The real-life world of competitive dance is something not all of us experience first hand. You may have seen shows such as “World Of Dance,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” on network television and said to yourself, “how did they do that?”  It turns out, Ayden Nelson, 12,  knows exactly how.

This past month Ayden, who will be a 7th grader at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School, joined 157 other talented dancers in competetion with Talent On Parade, and was named National Champion in the 11-12 Competition Solo Division.  The dance studio that she trains and competes with is Imperium House of Dance located in Belleville.

“I first started dancing when I was 2 years old,” said Ayden. “I always loved watching “So You Think You Can Dance” and “Dancing With the Stars,”  so when my parents put me in my first class, I instantly fell in love with dance.”

Through dance Ayden can express myself through movement. “I am not a fan of any other sports. I am not made to be a gymnast, or a competitive cheerleader. Dance is my thing,” said Ayden.

At Talent On Parade, Ayden competed with her teammates in the styles of jazz, contemporary, lyrical and hip-hop. But it was in the highest level of solo competition where she shined. “This year I performed a jazz piece called Black and Gold and a contemporary piece called Flatline,” said Ayden.

To achieve 1st place and the national title of Top Entertainer,  she had to put in the work every single day. Even if she didn’t practice her solos directly, she still danced everyday and worked on flexibility, routines, and strength. It not only takes physical strength, but mental strength as well. “When I have a hard time I always tell myself that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” said Ayden.

And as good as the title of National Champion sounds, she’s not done. Not by a long shot.

“Even though I got 1st place, there is still 1 spot higher than that, which is Overall Grand Champ. Next year, I want to see myself improve more than anything else but achieving that would be extra amazing. Summer is here which means that this is the time of year to really get prepared for next year. The day I get back from nationals, is the day I start working towards the next one. I cant wait to see what is ahead.”

Congratulations Ayden! We’re all rooting for you!

Are You Kvelling?

The literal definition of the Yiddish word Kvell is to “Feel or express pride, or to be extraordinarily pleased. Kvell is a verb, so it would be accurate to say to your friend, “I am sure that you were kvelling when you watched your son graduate yeshivah. We all could use more to kvell about, so starting today the Jewish Light would like to partner with everyone in the community to help us all Kvell the good things that are happening and will happen. Got a grandkid, son, daughter, cousin, niece, nephew doing something positive, well time to Kvell! If you have a Kvell to share, email me at [email protected]