By: Marlita Hill, Lead Adjudicator for DA:NCE’s $5,000 Call for Choreography

With an aim to publicize DA:NCE Awareness’s mission and celebrate the healthy, age-appropriate dance happening throughout our communities, DA:NCE launched its inaugural choreography competition, ‘She Loves to Move.’

The ‘She Loves to Move’ Call for Choreography began with an October 2022 invitation sent out to choreographers, dancers, dance studios, organizations, families, and groups of all ages and dance genres to submit a piece created to its title song, “She Loves to Move,” composed by Steve Siler.

The Call for Choreography was open from October 2022 to June 30, 2023. Upon closing, submissions were adjudicated in five areas:

  1. Choreographic elements: Did the work exhibit age-appropriate dance that thoughtfully incorporated various choreographic elements?
  2. Performance: Did the work present well-rehearsed, fully-engaged performers?
  3. Intentionality with the theme: Did the work present a clearly developed idea aligned with the competition’s theme?
  4. Production: Were the costumes and makeup age-appropriate and aligned with the work?
  5. Overall presentation: Were all the work’s various elements thoughtfully integrated to create a cohesive, engaging viewing experience?

The submissions were a delight and showcased dancers of diverse ages dancing in a myriad of contexts. There were the tiny tots dancing in their classroom studios or on stages at their annual recitals. There were young girls dancing in their living rooms or by themselves at their dance studios. There were groups and teams of teenagers dancing in studios, outside, and in their homes. There were the precious babies who didn’t yet remember their right from left.


There were the seasoned dancers who were precise and eloquent in their movement and expression. There were submissions that presented a homemade feel and others that were entire concept videos filmed on location with multiple shots that took us on a journey through a complete storyline.

The adjudication process yielded five finalists and one Grand Prize winner, who is to receive a $5,000 award. Each finalist is being announced and celebrated throughout the month of August and early September on DA:NCE Awareness’s various social media. The winner will be announced in late September 2023. (We’ll update the blog then with a link to the winning submission.)

DA:NCE Awareness would like to thank all of the incredible artists, coaches, teachers, choreographers, family-members-made-videographers, family members who transported dancers to rehearsals, patrons, location scouts, and editors who responded to our Call for Choreography as wonderful ambassadors of healthy dance and helped make this competition a rousing success.

If you’d like to learn more about the song, ‘She Loves to Move’ or the call for choreography, visit


Marlita Hill is a choreographer, multi-published author, and 20+ year educator who creates, teaches, writes, mentors, podcasts, and speaks to an international audience in and across the areas of faith, art, and entrepreneurship. She is an Adjunct Instructor and MFA graduate with Belhaven University (MS) and showcases her own work and provides master classes, guest choreography, and residencies through the Speak Hill Dance Project. Her choreography has been presented at venues including Belhaven University, ARC Pasadena, Lineage Performing Arts Center, Diavolo, Towson University, Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (in collaboration with VT Dance), Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (MD), and Carpenter Center Performing Arts. Hill holds a BFA in Dance Performance with K-12 Certification from Towson University (MD). In 2009, she co-founded the dance department at the Cortines School for the Visual and Performing Arts in downtown Los Angeles where she taught tap, modern, and choreography.