Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aime Lykins

PHILIPPINE SEA – USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) hangar bay was engulfed in both sizzling dance moves and a thick blanket of summer humidity as the 2nd Class Petty Officer Association (SCPOA) hosted a dance competition for all hands, June 15.

From swing to hip-hop, numerous dance styles were represented as Sailors performed for the crew and a grand prize provided by the SCPOA.

“I’m just out here to have fun,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Joseph Paul Treen, from Mays Landing, New Jersey. “It looks like this is bringing together a lot of people I normally wouldn’t see. I also want to show you don’t have to be the best guy out here to win a dance competition as long as you are having a good time.”

Treen proved that having a good time certainly made an impression on the panel of three enlisted judges as he and the three members of his dance crew, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Chase Douglas Sears, from Omaha, Nebraska, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Ryan Blackwell, from Chicago, and Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) Airman Christopher Matthews, from Las Vegas, won the competition with their matching Hawaiian shirts and comedic dance performance featuring push-ups, leap frog and high kicks.

Some Sailors entered the competition simply inspired by their love of dance and the ability to display their artistic enthusiasm to their shipmates.

“I get joy out of dancing,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Mackenzie Smith, from Phoenix. “I’ve been dancing since as long as I can remember. I feel like it can bring people together through the emotions you can portray.”

Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Jocalyn Gombos, from Hopatcong, New Jersey, entered the competition with dance partner and shipboard dance instructor, Electrician’s Mate 2nd Class Patrick Dent, from Cape Coral, Florida, as a way to demonstrate the dance skills she has acquired while on deployment.

“I had never learned how to dance,” said Gombos. “Patrick was holding swing dancing classes this deployment so I figured it was a good opportunity to learn and I fell in love with it. Now I’m excited to go home and show my husband. When I found out about this dance competition I had to do it!”

Representatives from the SCPOA were pleased with the crew’s participation and the large number of spectators who came to support their rhythmically-inclined shipmates.
“It was an awesome turnout and everyone did great,” said Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Kenneth Ridge, from Joliet, Illinois, SCPOA president. “The 2nd classes hope to do more stuff like this in the future to bring people together.”

Each competitor received ample applause and expressed their desire to continue dancing and improving their skills.

Providing a ready force supporting security and stability in the Indo-Asia-Pacific, John C. Stennis is operating as part of the Great Green Fleet on a regularly scheduled 7th Fleet deployment.

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