By Curt Yeomans
"So you think you can dance?" asks the name of a popular television dance competition.
Well, a group of Clayton County students know they can.
The Forest Park-based Zodiax dance team went on national television and pulled off an upset by defeating 'Cusetown, of Syracuse, N.Y., in the final dance-off round of Black Entertainment Television's (BET) 106 + Park Wild Out Wednesday dance competition on Wednesday night.
Zodiax is made up of students from Forest park, Mundy's Mill and Morrow high schools.
The team garnered 53 percent of the online votes cast in the final round of the competition. The winner of the dance competition is decided by having BET viewers go to the network's web site and vote for whoever they think did the best job. It was a come-from-behind win for Zodiax, because 'Cusetown had an early 55-45 lead over the Clayton County students.
"So often, Clayton County's kids get portrayed in a negative light, but, you know, I've got a really good group of kids here," said Melissa Colon, the team's coach and Clayton County's Teacher of the Year, in the Nov. 10 edition of the Clayton News Daily.
Zodiax gets to come back later in 106 + Park's season to compete for All-Star honors on the show. The team also won several videogames, according to the show's hosts.
The seven members of Zodiax are: Forest Park High School students Nikia Willis, Cambrea Norris, Shimallory Grooms, Geneley Childress, and Miquavius "Qua" Dominick; Mundy's Mill High School sophomore Montavius Harris; and Morrow High School sophomore Henry Tran.
Most of the Zodiax members (with the exception of Dominick) attended Babb Middle School in Forest Park, where they were students under Colon, who teaches dance and health at the school. Colon could not be reached for comment after the competition.
After they were announced as the winners of the competition, the team members were given an opportunity to give shoutouts to anyone they wanted to acknowledge. As they jumped up and down with excitement, several members of Zodiax gave shoutouts to the students at Forest Park High School.
Earlier in the competition, 'Cusetown won the first round, which consisted of each team performing a one-and-a-half minute dance routine, with 41 percent of the online votes cast in the competition. Zodiax followed with 35 percent, and Elite, from Huntsville, Ala., earned 21 percent.
As the lowest scoring team, Elite was eliminated after the first round, and Zodiax and 'Cusetown went into the dance-off to see who was the better team.