On stage at Disney World, where the school won four bronze medals.
ADAMS, Mass. — Dancecapade School of Dance was one of 10 dance schools in the world that recently competed in the first Walt Disney World Dance Competition.
"A lot of people don't know where Adams even is and I think a small dance school from a small-town marching and competing in Disney World is an accomplishment," school owner and instructor Jaclyn Grabicki said. "It's something you wouldn't think would happen, and it is a big deal."
Grabicki said 10 girls from her dance school made the trek to Florida in late June. She registered for the competition and the school was invited.
"Some of them I don't think have ever been to Disney, some I don't think were ever on a plane," she said. "They may have been a little freaked out on the plane but they had a great time."
Schools from throughout the country and the world attended the competition and the team went against dance groups from Honduras and Alaska.
"They were able to meet kids from other parts of the world and were exposed to different cultures and dancing," Grabicki said.
She said her troupe spent four days at the park and their first task was to march in the parade. Grabicki said they spent time before the trip learning specific choreography sent to them by Disney.
"The kids danced down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and that is something a lot of kids can't say," she said. "Hundreds of people were standing on both sides of the road ... people from all over the world were watching."
Grabicki's mother, Joyce, who helped organize the trip, said Disney also sent the dancers uniforms and blue glittery shoes.
"They have a very strict policy and the kids couldn't even wear their wristbands and they changed the color of the shoes," she said. "It used to be red sparkle shoes and they changed it to blue so they got to debut them on Main Street."
The competition itself was in Epcot between Canada and the United Kingdom parks.
"They broke the competition up into 90-minute intervals and there were all different kinds of genres," Grabicki said. "There was ballet, jazz, tap, hip-hop and open. It was a very smooth competition."
She said the competition was judged by some big names in dancing such as professional dancer Whitney Carson, who was on the shows "Dancing with The Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance."
She said the school brought home four bronze medals.
On their down time, they explored the park and went on rides and, on their last day in Florida, were invited gala complete with a buffet, DJ and Disney characters.
Grabicki said traveling as a team is an important experience for the young dancers
"I have been dancing since I was a kid and I was never able to travel and have this kind of experience," she said. "One of my goals is to give my students these opportunities ... it is great for them and looks good on a college application."
Grabicki's mother said the dance school has been planning for the trip since October and relied on the community to help raise the $1,000 each dancer needed to make the trip.
"The community was very receptive and they are a big part of this," Joyce said. "Even though this area is struggling they still helped out and these kids all got to go to Disney."
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