ST. GEORGE — Dixie State University students Cajun Syrett and Riley Randall recently competed in the Brigham Young University Dancesport Festival, winning first place against eight other couples in the cabaret competition.
The duo started practicing their piece in January 2019, first performing their dance during the DSU Spring Ballroom Dance Concert. Riley Randall’s mother, Amy Randall, was their choreographer and continued to work with them over the past months to perfect their routine. She said in a press release that their win was one of her proudest moments.
Both Syrett and Riley Randall agree that the most crucial part of performing is having a great dance partner.
“Having someone who can handle all the lifts, as well as dance, is a vital component of the cabaret category,” Riley Randall said in the release.
The first time the two danced together was in a ballet piece for the DSU Dance Company Spring 2017 Concert. They hadn’t partnered since then, but they knew one another would be a good fit for the competition. Syrett and Riley Randall went into the festival with no other expectation than to do their best. Walking off the floor, they knew that was, in fact, their best performance.
“Just being there, having this opportunity to dance, and seeing the amazing talent was an incredible experience,” Syrett said in the release.
Syrett started dancing about five years ago when he came to university and joined Raging Red.
“Dixie State is a place for opportunities I didn’t know were possible — I’ve never felt limited here,” he said.
Riley Randall has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She dances because she wants to bring others joy.
“Dance is an art form meant to entertain, and nothing makes my day more than seeing that joy on the faces of the audience,” she said.
Syrett and Riley Randall are now eligible to go on to compete with dancers from all over the world in Manhattan at the New York Dance Festival in February 2020.
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