Matarese takes home title of Miss Dance America

Matarese takes home title of Miss Dance America


Valley Breeze Staff Writer

NORTH PROVIDENCE - After 15 years of dancing, North Providence resident Nicole Matarese ended her career on a high note, taking home the title of Miss Dance America at her final competition last month.

Matarese, a recent graduate of North Providence High School, said she began dancing at the age of 2 at the Donna Carter Dance Studio in Pawtucket.

"At first it was something I did for fun but throughout the years I started to love it and stayed with it," she said. "It's something that allows me to release my emotions. Whenever I'm stressed I can rely on dance to get through it."

When one of her teachers at Donna Carter opened her own studio, Rising Stars Dance Academy in North Providence, Matarese said she followed her.

Since then, she has won multiple titles and awards with the academy, but none as "prestigious" as Miss Dance America.

To qualify for the national competition, held in Virginia on July 26, she had to dance in two regional competitions.

The first, she said, was in Concord, N.H., and the second was held in Lowell, Mass.

"I beat over 105 people at both regionals and when you get to the nationals it's all the regional winners from 50 regions across the country," she said.

During the nationals Matarese said she performed a dance solo, which ultimately won her the title of Miss Dance America.

"It was so surreal for me, I was crying," she said. "I have been working on this for a long time."

She said she started working toward this competition in 2008, and became eligible after winning the regional qualifiers.

Last year, she won second place in the Miss Dance America show, but because this was her last year dancing, she worked even harder to secure the crown.

"This year I wanted it even more so it was something I pushed for, because I graduated and I'm going to college so I don't think I'll have time for it," she said.

Matarese said she would be cheerleading for Bryant University when she starts there in September.

"I do teach right now at Rising Stars, so it's something that'll always be with me but I don't think I'll personally dance again," she said.