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Charity and Andres compete in ‘World of Dance’ World Final

September 13, 2018
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Utah County duo Charity and Andres perform in the Divisional Final on NBC's "World of Dance" Season 2.
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Utah County duo Charity and Andres perform in the Divisional Final on NBC's "World of Dance" Season 2.

Utah County duo Charity and Andres finished first in the junior division last week on NBC ’s “ World of Dance ” Season 2, securing them a spot alongside three other acts in the World Final and a shot at the grand prize of $1 million.

Charity Anderson, of Springville, and Andres Penate, of Vineyard, told the Daily Herald in a recent phone interview they felt like underdogs coming into the competition compared to the other junior acts and were very grateful to come out on top.

“It’s honestly so crazy,” Anderson said. “We did not expect to even get past Qualifiers, so being here is a huge blessing and definitely not something we were expecting.”

The World Final requires the winner of each division to perform two dances, one of which each act must perform to a song the judges choose.

Anderson said the duo’s goal going into the World Final was to “make a statement.”

“We want to come out as these fearless competitors and making sure any doubt that we have left, we just want to get rid of it,” Penate said. “We just want to really make an impact.”

The dance partners have consistently wowed judges Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough and Ne-Yo throughout the competition with their self-choreographed contemporary routines, achieving the show’s first-ever combined perfect score of 100 during the Duels.

“We just had to come up with new tricks that people haven’t seen before and do something original, so each of our routines, we thought about bringing a completely different emotion, a completely different feel than they felt last time, so they didn’t feel like they were watching the same thing,” Anderson said.

In the Divisional Finals, Anderson danced on a broken toe, a trial she said she got through with the help of her mother and prayer.

“My mom was right there for me. She was helping me with just the emotional and mental, just having a strong mind, because really, it’s mind over matter and pain is only temporary, and she just helped me push through it and gave me the strength,” Anderson said. “And we definitely prayed a lot. We prayed that I would be able to go throughout the routine without pain or that I would be able to get through the routine, and I definitely was able to do that, so we were very grateful.”

With the World Final taking place only a week after the Divisional Final, the injury was still a concern in the last round of the competition, Anderson said.

“It got worse, so I was just a little bit more daring because I knew how much it hurt and I knew that I could push through some things,” Anderson said. “We were a little bit more daring in our choreography, so we put a lot more things that we had been used to doing into our last two routines.”

Were they to win the grand prize, Anderson said the $1 million would help the dancers in their future careers.

“And actually, my mom just got out of the hospital, and so I would definitely pay for that huge medical bill that it cost,” Anderson said. “She was in for about a week and a half in the hospital.”

Anderson said win or lose, the dancers are grateful for the exposure they’ve gotten, the connections they’ve made and the people they’ve met on the show.

“We learned how to work together, first off, and how to try to come up with things fast,” Penate said. “We learned how to prepare and how much work had to be invested into something this big.”

The two plan to continue dancing, sharing their love for dance and performing together.

“This definitely isn’t a stopping point when it comes to learning,” Penate said. “We have a lot more to learn. There’s so much out there in the dance world that we want to be educated about and so much training we could still do with all different styles of dance, even in contemporary, so we’re definitely going to continue to be learning.”

NBC’s “World of Dance” Season 2 World Final aired Wednesday at 8 p.m., announcing the winner after the Ticket’s print deadline. To find out who won, read the Daily Herald’s coverage of the results online at heraldextra.com.

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