ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - An award winning competitive dance team is putting St. Petersburg on the map, with determination and hard work.
Performers with Competitive Edge Dance Company are some of the best in the U.S., and at very young ages.
The students are from inner-city neighborhoods and range in age from 6 to 18.
Jamie Lephew is the founder of Competitive Edge Dance Company, which has been in business for 13 years.
"We are three-times national champions right now, going hopefully this summer for our fourth national tittle, and we are very proud of that," Lephew said.
The group won the Nexstar National Championship for the last three years. The theme of last year's winning routine was Jailhouse Rock.
"When I go to competition and we go on stage, I get to dance and it's awesome, and its cool," explained dance student Denia Averette.
One of the group's youngest, 6-year-old Makayla Mallory has been dancing at the studio for four years.
"I love dancing and to be with my friends," Makayla said.
Jamie said dancing helps the students with their grades, and most of the students make the honor roll.
"They come here every day [with] a true passion for dance, and for the art, and they come and work very very hard," Lephew said. "To have any age, any level, whether they be beginning or already have some skills, to be able to come in here and be a part of something that is not only doing proper training to make them into amazing dancers, but also growing them into great individuals." Jamie said.