This summer, when more than 20,000 students converge on the Savannah International Trade & Convention Center in Savannah, Ga., Sampson Middle School student Melina Matthews will be among the few chosen to be part of a special performance.
Matthews attended the regional convention in Greensboro in February and was given the premier performer award. New to the BETA Club convention this year, this award invites selected dancers and singers to come to the national convention and rehearse with a professional choreographer for a special performance at both the convention and a “flash mob” in the city of Savannah.
“I was completely shocked when they called me on stage,” Matthews said about hearing her name at the Greensboro convention and being chosen as a premier performer.
The 2018 National Beta Convention will be held June 13-16 in Savannah. This unique and energetic convention offers junior Beta members the opportunity to share project ideas and showcase their academic and leadership abilities with peers from around the globe.
Matthews wasn’t the only local student chosen to be a part of the premier performance. Harrells Christian Academy students Camryn Fussell, Mabel Rose Parker and Lexie Sawvel were all chosen. Matthews was part of the Sampson Middle School group talent performance and Fussell, Parker and Sawvel were part of the group talent performance for Harrells Christian Academy.
A dancer since the age of three, Matthews said being recognized for her talent is very rewarding.
“I am at the dance studio every day and I spend a lot of time practicing,” the eighth-grade student shared. “It feels good to know that my hard work and dedication have paid off.”
Matthews, who dances at The Performing Arts School, studies under her mother, Suzi Faircloth Matthews and Raquel Barden. Her father is Neal Matthews.
Parker is a company member at Quisan’s Dance Academy, winners of multiple national titles. She is the daughter of Michael and Ruth Ann Montgomery Parker.
Fussell dances with Evolution Dance Complex in Wilmington, and is the daughter of Johnathan and Leah Fussell of Wallace.
Sawvel dances with The Arts Company, and is the daughter of Jeff and Jessica Sawvell.
Founded in 1934, Beta exists to promote the ideals of achievement, character, leadership, and service in young people nationally and internationally through school clubs, state and national competitions, scholarships, and camps. Many Harrells parents and teachers remember their own experiences as junior and senior Beta members.
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.