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Cathy Dyson writes about King George County. You can email her at

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K.G. student earns national award

Josie Lewis with her award

Josie Lewis is 8 and already has a national award for her ability to design dance moves.

The rising third-grader at King George Elementary School won an Award of Merit in the National PTA Reflections contest in dance choreography.


She placed first at county, district and then the state level, which qualified her for the national competition.

Josie is one of two Fredericksburg area students who earned the national distinction.

Rebekah Kim, 18 and a rising senior at Stafford High School, also earned an Award of Merit for her music composition.

Josie has been dancing since she was 3 and practicing what she’s learned on her little sisters.

“She is constantly choreographing routines for them,” said Josie’s mother, Kelly. “They’re usually very graceful.”

But a recent incident sent the King George family to the emergency room. Emma, 4, was supposed to stand on the knees of her sisters, Ellie, 6, and Josie, 8. (Their older brother, Junior, is 10 and also a dancer. Father, Garry, is a carpenter who pays for all the dance lessons.)

Unfortunately, Emma tumbled to the floor and turned her wrist the wrong way. She ended up with a broken elbow and a bright pink cast.

“Now, we’re cutting back some and just focusing on dancing in the studio,” their mother said.

All four Lewis children love to dance, and Josie tapped into that hobby for the PTA Reflections entry. She heard an announcement about the contest on the Today Show—not the one with Matt Lauer, but the school version that gives morning announcements to young Eagles.

The theme was “Diversity Means.” Josie picked the song, “Where is the Love?”—not the lyrical love song Roberta Flack did in the 1970s, but a hip–hop version by the Black Eyed Peas.

She slipped into a pale blue leotard with a skirt built into it and incorporated some of the rolls, turns and twists she’s danced for five years. She also did various motions, like hands crossed over her heart to show love or fingertips drawing a circle to to indicate the “one world” the Black Eyed Peas described.

The entire Lewis family, along with maternal grandparents Helen and Jack France of Montross, went to Richmond for the state ceremony.

In her artistic statement, Josie explained why she picked the song and designed the movements around it.

“The lyrics talk about not discriminating, because discrimination leads to hate,” she wrote last year, when she was 7. “We need to share our world with each other in a loving way.”