It was the last day of February when Dance Theatre of Rhode Island received the email inviting some of our specific competition routines to compete in an invitational located in Woodbridge, Virginia only 17 days later. We had already committed to a regional competition in Sturbridge, Massachusetts the weekend before this event and were in full prep for that; however, some opportunities are just too big to pass up. This one was a chance to compete against some of the best studios including the infamous Abby Lee Miller and her new team.
I contacted my wife (Jennifer Vecchio our director) with the news and she was immediately all in. We then breached the subject with our board of directors and then eventually the 9 dancers that would make up this travel team. The commitment to the trip was astonishing. While we rehearsed day and night for our Sturbridge event, our entire studio staff, parents, alumni and family began rolling out sponsorship programs, getting charter bus quotes, filling out release forms and planning the itinerary. It was quite a whirlwind of events.
After a very successful weekend in Sturbirdge earning several high score awards and ultimately being nominated for the prestigious Industry Dance Awards this summer, we returned to the studio to prep for the fastest turn around in our 30 year history-2 competitions in 7 days.
The travel team included, Madeleine Scott, Shania Leon, Grace L'Hereux (from Cumberland), Ava Anania, Sophia Anania (from Smithfield), Avery Potemri, Reese Moreau (from Lincoln), Juliana Catelli (from North Providence) and Sophia Carlson (from Attleboro). These girls began rehearsing long hours immediately. The entire studio came together for our send off showcase on Thursday evening where the routines were showcased that would compete in just 2 days. The support and turnout was overwhelming.
Friday morning the 9 person team along with 26 parents and fellow dancers embarked on the 10 hour journey. Saturday morning we arrived at the venue and competed against some of the best dance studios around. The entire event was filmed for production and will be aired on Lifetime TV. It was an amazing experience for the entire studio. Keep an eye out for us this summer on Episode 7 of Dance Mom's Season 8.
Dance Theatre of Rhode Island is located in the newly renovated Berkley Business Center located on 30 Martin Street in Cumberland, Rhode Island.