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Bellevue girl 'Teen Dancer of the Year'

Effie Tutko’s dance talent already has put her into a video game. -  Courtesy Photo, Cassandra Moses
Effie Tutko’s dance talent already has put her into a video game.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo, Cassandra Moses

A Bellevue Big Picture freshman has become Hollywood Vibe's Teen Dancer of the Year.

Effie Tutko, 14, beat out 50 finalists competing in Orlanda, Florida., with a lyrical dance set to Charlotte Sometimes' "Build The Moon."

"I am amazed," she said. "It was a shock when I found out I'd won."

Tutko has practiced dance for eight years and presently studies at Allegro Performing Arts Academy in Kent. She's attended conventions and competitions such as Spotlight Seattle and Hollywood Connection.

Her talents have even put her in a video game: Tutko was a full motion video actor in "Just Dance Kids II," a title released for motion sensing consoles.

"It was so exciting," Tutko said. "It was a real world opportunity to dance."

Tutko began with ballet, but said she soon fell in love with all styles, including jazz, hip-hop and ballroom. Her competition winning dance was lyrical.

"Lyrical dance is basically dance that relates to the music," she said. "Your motions match what's playing."

Tutko entered her solo into a Hollywood Vibe regionals competition while visiting her father in San Francisco, having previously won a scholarship to attend regional competitions for free.

"Competition was intense (and) it inspired me to be a better dancer," Tutko said. "I had to go down with my solo performance. You did it once to compete and then the judges picked the top two dancers."

She was called to perform again for the top two and was picked by the judges over her competitor.

For her national win, Tutko received a scholarship for continued dance lessons, as well as membership to the Hollywood Vibe Dance Company. Company membership gives her the opportunity to assist their choreographers in demonstrating lessons at conventions and competition. Past Hollywood Vibe National Dancers of the Year have gone on to acting and dancing careers in Los Angeles, appearing in shows, such as "Glee" or "Hit the Floor."

As for Effie's future?

"I definitely want to continue competing," she said. "And I have dreams to be a convention teacher. I love to teach."

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