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Local boy dances his way to national competition

Phillip Hommes with his two first place trophies.

Winning in one category at a national dance competition is extraordinary, but Philip Hommes has won two.

At the Midwest Stars Nationals on June 13-16, Hommes and his dance company, the Duluth Dance Center, performed in a jazz dance trio and a tap small group. Hommes, who will be a ninth-grader at Two Harbors High School in the fall, also performed his own musical theater solo. The trio and Hommes' solo received first place overall in their categories and went on to win first place at Grand Nationals on the last day of the competition.

"We performed on the big stage and they called us up for the awards. It was pretty cool," Hommes said. The dance competition, which was held at the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, featured the best dancers from all over the country.

"You get a little bit nervous the minutes before, but then you get out there and you don't really think about it. It's really fun," he said.

Hommes' mother, Nancy MacGibbon, said that watching her son win a national competition "was thrilling, especially because he was so thrilled."

Even though Hommes is only 14, he is already starting his ninth year of dance. In the beginning, he said that it wasn't his idea to pursue dance, but he "just kept going with it and really liked it."

MacGibbon, who signed him up for his first class, said, "He took to it pretty quickly because he loved to move. Then he fell in love with dance."

To Hommes, dance is so much more than just moving to music. "You get to express stuff through music," he said. "For me, it's art."