Sierra Jenkins / Tuesday, Feb. 14 @ 7:56 a.m. / LoCO Video Reports

(VIDEO) Local Teacher-Student Tap Dancing Duo Win Second at a Prestigious International Competition; They Show Us Their Skills


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Two local dancers recently competed with more than 200 performers from across the world at the Vienna International Ballet Experience in Montana.

Melissa Hinz and Ty Vizenor make up the teacher-student tap dance duo and they won second place with their tap routine, Winter Tapland. It’s a modern spin on the classic Winter Wonderland.

“Finding people who share the passion, who are willing to work hard, and have the ability to tell the story and share emotion, that’s huge,” said Hinz. “And it’s so much more fun for me than dancing by myself.”

Hinz is a well-known dance instructor and choreographer in Humboldt and has worked professionally in New York and Chicago.

Vizenor’s a freshman at Arcata High School but already has more than a decade of singing and acting experience, performing in many Humboldt Light Opera Company productions. However, Vizenor says he wanted to be a “triple threat” in the musical theatre world and knew his potential was limited if he didn’t learn how to dance.

So just a year and half ago, Hinz took Vizenor under her wing and he picked up the skill pretty quick.

“She knows how to make things that look really hard be simple,” said Vizenor. “And that’s one of the things that helped me go from not knowing anything to knowing so much and being able to go on to a competition and hold my weight and do good.”

They’ve been invited to participate and compete in the final round of VIBE in Austria, and Hinz will be a guest instructor at VIBE Vienna. Vizenor will also bring his love for musical theatre right to his own school at the end of March, playing the lead role of “Don Lockwood” in Singin’ in the Rain.

If you want to see the duo in action, they’ll perform their award winning tap routine at the Arkley Center for the “Dancing Stars of Humboldt” on February 25.


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