More than $7,500 in cash and prizes was recently awarded to the winners of the Fusion Contests at the inaugural FusionFest. The festival celebrated Central Florida’s growing diversity with a free, two-day celebration on Nov. 24 and 25, 2018 in front of the Dr. Phillips Center in downtown Orlando. Entrants were required to fuse together two different cultures in their performance pieces for the entertainment contest. Altogether, 35 music groups and 35 dance groups competed for the $1,000.00 grand prize.
The Fusion Contest winners were selected by panels of judges, who were on-site at the festival. The more than 30 judges were professionals and experts drawn from the community and representatives of a wide variety of heritages.
Professional Irish Dancer and Irish Musician, Sarah Costello, led the Central Florida Irish Dance Performance Troupe, who hold classes in the St. Cloud Civic Center, in their routine, fusing together Irish dance and music with American Hip Hop. The performance troupe was comprised of nine students ages 6-15 and included dancers from beginner to advanced. Together, they performed an outstanding piece that won the prestigious honor of being the Inaugural Winner of the FusionFest Entertainment Contest!
“The goal of FusionFest is to bring together, welcome and celebrate the growing number of people who come from around the world to call Central Florida home,” said Terry Olson, FusionFest coordinator. Olson has been guiding and growing the celebration of diversity for several years in his role as director of Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs.
What started as an idea became a grassroots movement powered by the multinational volunteer steering committee, as well as first-class creative and production team, and a growing family of sponsors and community partners. Presented by the Dr. Phillips Center, FusionFest was a project of the Downtown Arts District with support from Orange County Government, the City of Orlando/Downtown Development Board and a growing grassroots movement.
Central Florida Irish Dance has performed in many competitions across the USA and will travel to Ireland next year to compete in the World Championships of Irish Dance. They were honored to represent Ireland and America in the FusionFest and delighted to have brought home the coveted Entertainment Winner title back to Celebration, Florida.
Central Florida Irish Dance has 11 different locations for classes including St. Cloud Civic Center for Osceola County and more information can be found on their website www.centralfloridairishdance.com or by emailing Miss Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.