By Deborah Goodman
Lifelong Springville resident and recent SHS graduate, Charity Anderson, garnered international acclaim by receiving — with her partner, Andres Penate of Vineyard — the first ever perfect score on the NBC hit program “World of Dance.”
After sailing through the first round, the Qualifiers, Andres and Charity knew they needed even better choreography and execution as they entered the Duels, the second round. Airing August 1, the duo chose to go head-to-head with competitor Vivian Ruiz. Each of the three judges on the show gave Charity and Andres a perfect 100 points.
Although Charity and Andres have been preparing for the show ever since they decided to partner up the day after the first episode of “World of Dance” season one, aired in the summer of 2017, they have worked together a lot longer than that.
The couple won a preteen national championship as ballroom partners when they were twelve years old, but later went their separate ways when they decided to focus on different dance forms.
They are well matched, in part because they’ve been dancing together for so many years and have the same athletic quality to their movement. They do all of their own choreography.
Charity grew up in her mother, Tresa Anderson’s Springville dance studio, Charisma, and Andres’ mother owns the Legacy Dance Studio in Orem.
Tresa cites Charity’s athleticism as one reason she was “ahead of her time” as a child. “She did back handsprings at age three in the parents’ waiting room while I taught dance classes. She would watch the dancers in the studio and then go home and try to do everything herself, so she has been largely self-taught.”
To audition for “World of Dance,” the pair was required to send in a video last fall. Thinking the deadline had already passed, but deciding to send in the video anyway to see what might happen, they received an email the next night saying they secured the one remaining opening to do a live audition in Los Angeles the following week.
A casting director told them from the moment she saw them in that live audition, she knew they were different and saw a special journey for them.
The next “interview,” filmed in Andres’ home, turned into a surprise announcement that they were on the show. The show loves their raw talent and that they are from a small town. During the first round of the show, they came and filmed in Springville.
Since the first round, Charity and Andre’s performances have had millions of views on YouTube, with widespread praise for the couple’s musicality, strength and compelling choreography.
On August 29, Charity and Andres, along with Jaxon Willard, a soloist from American Fork, advanced in the Junior divisional final (the fourth round of the competition) after they finished in the final three during The Cut.
Time will tell how the season will play out, but Andres and Charity have been asked to go on the World of Dance tour. They’ll live on a travel bus and perform in thirty shows all over the nation and Canada.
The duo, both 18 (they were 17 when the season started) have since been contacted by nearly every country’s Got Talent television show and will have a difficult time deciding which one to choose.