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The third weekend of regional competitions this year has just ended. It was a quick turn around from the Starbound Lowell Regional. Miss Jen and the team had to work extra hard to get all the new routines ready. We were also excited to see some returning DTRI alumni coming home from college that needed to get their competition groove on.

We traveled to a small suburb called Vernon just outside of Hartford, CT to compete with the remaining new routines slated for Nationals at Starbound this June. Per the usual routine, Jen and I began checked into the competition, consulted with the backstage staff, addressed all the needed concerns including set, quick changes, and assessed the stage and backstage areas to see if any routines needed to be altered to the setting. Its a very busy and hectic process but this lays the groundwork for a successful weekend.

Out first nights routines went off with some music issues as the sound tech seemed to be a little off. Numerous studios were having similar issues. A special congratulations to Casey and Emma as their duo music (Rather Be) first didn't play and then stopped mid-routine. This is pretty much a worst case scenario. Casey and Emma didn't miss a beat however and despite the music issues still managed to earn the highest score in their category. Simply amazing.

Of course that evening and as directed by the sound tech, we purchased and burnt all new cds with two backups per dance and a laptop as a last resort. It was a long night for the boss.

Day two arrived with a bunch of routines early that we moved from the previous night to accommodate a few dancers attending prom. The routines went back to back to back to back opening up the Saturday competition with a bang. DTRI was beginning to leave a mark. New solos, duos, and trios continued to perform through out the day some of which were only finished this last week. As usual, the dancers were up to the task. It was a great day.

Day 3-----#groups. Need I say more. The most hectic day by far. While we use set in solos, duos, and trios we were especially set heavy for groups, and I mean heavy. Set building started early and continued all day. A special thank you to all the kids and dads that continue to show up and move the set that seems to gets bigger by the minute. It couldn't be done with out you. Literally and figuratively.

It always amazes me how everything seems to come together when its time to compete. How the dancers can flip the switch and perform at another level on the competition stage. This is why we train 7 days a week. This is why we stay late, go in early. This is why we build the sets, rent the theatre, stone the costumes. This is competition. Our goal at this and every competition is simple. Leave our mark. We want our routines, our staff, our dancers to be remembered. We want the production to go last before awards, in front of a full house. In front of dancers ready to storm the stage. We want the audience to ask, "who are these guys?", "where are they from?" We want to show them what we can do. We want to prove ourselves every solo, every duo, every group, every single dance. We want to be the best we can be. Congrats to everyone. We did it. We left our mark.

I had the opportunity to speak to another studio parent in the prop trenches this weekend. He came over and introduced himself and thanked me at least ten times for helping him with his set. He then asked me how our studio is so close, he said "you guys are like a big family, in our studio no one helps". I paused for a minute and smiled. I told him that's better than any trophy or high score we could get.

We all are DTRI and We are all family. #webleedpurple

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