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Clayton team still up after BET dance victory

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

In the song, "Move Your Feet," the singer known as the "Senior," in the pop group Junior-Senior, exclaims, "D-D-Don't stop the beat. I c-c-can't control the feet. P-P-People in the street. Come on everybody, and move your feet."

Eventhough the Black Entertainment Television (BET) cameras left the Forest Park-based Zodiax dance team, and the Syracuse, N.Y.-based 'Cusetown team at the end of their dance-off in 106 + Park's Wild Out Wednesday dance competition on Wednesday night, the two teams decided they weren't done.

They kept the dance-off going for the studio audience, while the music countdown show featured a music video.

"The boys were doing their thing, and then the girls [from 'Cusetown] tried to get up in our faces with their own moves, I just had to show them my skills," said Nikia Willis, a Zodiax member, who is a junior at Forest Park High School, just hours after the team defeated 'Cusetown to win the nationally televised, weekly dance competition.

There are two rounds in the weekly contest, which begins with three, competing teams. The first round features the teams doing one-and-a-half minute dance routines, followed by viewers at home logging onto BET's web site and voting for their favorite team. The team with the least amount of votes, Huntsville, Ala.-based Elite, was eliminated at that time.

Zodiax and 'Cusetown, the winner of the first round, then went into a dance-off in which the teams performed alternating routines. Zodiax went first, and voters again went online to vote for their favorite dance team.

"We were so scared the whole time, because we knew they were good, but we just did our best," said Zodiax member, Miquavius "Qua" Dominick, a sophomore at Forest Park High School. "It [the dance off] was so amazing, though, because of the fact that we were still dancing against each other after it was over."

The win left several members of Zodiax, which is composed of Clayton County high school students, in shock for hours after they were announced as this week's winner. The team will compete for All-Star honors later in the show's season. Willis said the team has not yet been told when that contest would be held, except that it would be next summer.

"I can't believe we won ... It's overwhelming," said Henry Tran, a sophomore at Morrow High School. "We were in second place [early in the second round voting], so we were just so happy when they called our name [as the winner]."

The frantic jumping up and down, which BET viewers saw when Zodiax was announced as the winner, continued as they moved backstage, where their coach, Clayton County teacher of the year, Melissa Colon, had been watching the show in the green room.

"The best part was seeing them on the TV, because they were so excited to win, and I was backstage jumping up and down as well," said Colon, who taught six of the seven Zodiax members when they attended Babb Middle School in Forest Park.

The team returned to Forest Park on Thursday afternoon, and will be back in school today, but Superintendent John Thompson said he is already planning on honoring them at the board of education's December business meeting.

As parents and members of the media waited for the school board's ethics commission to meet on Thursday night, Thompson bragged about Zodiax's win to everyone.

"This says there is nothing second class about the Clayton County school system," said Thompson.