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In Step With DC
Dance Connection’s Competition Team Lights Up the Stage at Sea!!
Written by Erin Sforza on July 17, 2018

This summer the Dance Connection Competition Team boarded Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas for a public performance in their beautiful Lyric Theater.

The trip started at the studio, where our competition team dancers, teachers, staff, and their family and friends boarded buses to travel to Cape Liberty Cruise Port in New Jersey. Our group of 84 boarded the ship on Friday July 6th ready to relax, have fun, and give the guests on board a great show.

The sailing visited three ports: Port Canaveral, Florida, where members of our group were able to visit Kennedy Space Center (and some met an astronaut!) and others headed to Coco Beach and Walt Disney World. The sailing then took us to Coco Cay, Bahamas which is one of Royal Caribbean’s private islands reserved only for their guests. Here the DCCT group drove jet skis, snorkeled, shopped, enjoyed food, music, and generally soaked up the sun and surf. The last port visited was Nassau, in the Bahamas. Here the group enjoyed more shopping, snorkeling, beach excursions and glass bottom boat tours to take in the beautiful marine life, and some even headed over to the Atlantis Resort for some water-park fun!

On board the whole group was treated to scavenger hunts, daily entertainment, world cup soccer viewing, a mystery dinner theater, ice skating and professional ice skaters, pool parties, surfing, rock climbing, and plenty of activities in the kids and teens spaces.

After the final port it was time to get ready to perform. The first sea day after Nassau our group got up bright and early for their 2-hour rehearsal with the on board entertainment team and stage techs. They fine tuned their performance with two run-throughs and later took a team photo on the stairs in front of the theater so they would have a lasting souvenir of their performance cruise. The following morning was performance day! Everyone was excited and nervous but ready to dance or cheer on our fantastic performers. The Competition Team and some of our own Dance Connection teachers put on a 40 minute performance that ended with a standing ovation from the crowd. The Cruise Director, Clo, was truly impressed and congratulated the whole group on their hard work and how professional they had been. Miss Mary thanked everyone who had come to see the performance and thanked the dancers, making sure they knew how proud she was of them. She, along with a few of our backstage volunteers, even shed a few tears of pride at how amazing the team’s performance was. The is great difficulty for any dancer to maintain balance and their turns and placement on the stage of a moving ship; and believe me the ship was moving that morning! After the group exited the stage, Miss Mary was approached by several of the on board entertainment cast members who congratulated them as well and remarked on how clean all of the group’s routines were and how impressive the quality of the performance was, especially from such a young group of performers. The team also came home with some rave reviews from their fellow passengers:

“Our 14 family members that saw you on adventures of the seas thought you did an amazing job! best entertainment of the week!!!” – Jeff Miller (Jericho, NY)

“I, too, echo the comments above. So glad my 11 yo daughter asked to go to the show. It was incredible! I was exhausted from the countless number of costume changes and dance numbers. Lol. Don’t know how the ‘kids’ did it. Kudos to the dance team, choreographers and costume designers! All your efforts were clearly evident and seamlessly demonstrated! Thank you for entertaining us at sea!!” – Jodi Miller Breslin (Jericho, NY)

“Hi. My family was on this trip and had the opportunity to see this performance. Your school put on an amazing show. From the costumes, to the dances, to the music choices! Everything. I particularly liked the dance to the Kelly Clarkson song. It made me tear up and my husbands eyes were “sweating” 😭. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! Thank you.” – Marisol Berrios (Staten Island, NY)

“Just saw you all on Adventure and you were absolutely AMAZING! So so impressed. The little girl in particular was absolutely amazing.” – Adam Rothschild (Princeton, NJ)

“Just a quick note to let you know my husband and I were on the Adventure of the Sea’s last week and had the privilege of watching your amazing dancers. They easily could have been one of the headliner shows! Their talent, hard work and dedication shows!” – Linda B. (East Northport, NY)

The team wrapped up their group activities later that afternoon with an hour workshop given by two of the on board dancers where they learned different techniques and were even taught some of the choreography from the shows that they had seen in the theater over the course of the week. The dancers challenged the members of the competition team with some involved choreography and answered questions about what it is like to perform on board a cruise ship as a professional dancer. It was a great learning opportunity that all of our dancers definitely enjoyed!

That evening everyone was treated to their last dinner and evening show on board and went out to soak up as much fun as they could before disembarking the next morning, once again boarding the buses together and heading back home to the studio where the trip started. The trip was filled with lasting memories for both the individual families and the group as a whole and we are so fantastically proud of our Competition Team for rising to this performance challenge!

The Competition Team will be resuming rehearsals in August to begin preparing for the new competition year, and will take on their next public performance challenge in Walt Disney World around Spring Break in 2020. Keep checking in for the date of the team’s first rehearsal of the year to be a part of this very special experience at Dance Connection!

Erin Sforza

Erin is the Public Relations Coordinator for Dance Connection. She studied dance from childhood through college and continues to be an active member of the Long Island theatre community. Erin received a BA in both Musical Theatre Performance and History from the University of Tampa, and has utilized aspects of both degrees working in the hospitality industry, as an Event Coordinator for the Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington, and as the PR/Marketing Coordinator and Group Sales Coordinator for the CM Performing Arts Center in Oakdale. In addition to being a part of the Dance Connection staff, she is a Travel Consultant affiliated with and