CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A local high school theater star took home a prestigious national dance award Monday at the Jimmy Awards in New York City.

Anna Hertel, a rising senior at Ardrey Kell High School, took home the prize for best dancer at the event hosted at the famous Minskoff Theater on Broadway in Manhattan, the same stage where the hit Disney production of The Lion King has run for over a decade.

The event was hosted by Tony award-winning actor Ben Platt, who has risen to Broadway stardom after his Best Actor award in 2017 for his performance in the smash hit Dear Evan Hansen.

   (Photo: Joseph Marzullo/

Hertel was among a couple students representing Charlotte after competing locally in the Blumenthal Performing Arts High School Musical Theatre Awards, also known as the Blumey's.

She is the second Charlotte-area actress to win a Jimmy Award in New York City. Amina Faye, who now studies at Penn State University, took home the Best Actress Award at last year's Jimmy's.

The Jimmy's are an annual Broadway-focused talent showcase that consists of days of rehearsals and private coaching from drama and acting professionals, including faculty from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Anna's success is striking a positive chord back in the Charlotte theater community.

“We are immensely proud of Anna and Justin and their incredible performances last night,” said Blumenthal Performing Arts President Tom Gabbard. “It’s an honor to have had such talented young people represent the Charlotte area on the national level.

Additionally, another Charlotte teen, Justin Rivers, was nominated for a Jimmy. Plus one of Amina Faye's teachers, Larry Robinson, was given an Inspiring Educator Award for his diligent work with the previous winner.

Since the inception of the National High School Musical Theatre Awards (NHSMTA) program in 2009, participating students have earned over $1,000,000 in university and conservatory scholarships, including several from the Charlotte region.

The Blumey's were created six years ago to recognize and celebrate the talents of high school theater students in the Charlotte area, as well as offer them a pathway to the national competition in New York.