Community Dances For A Good Cause

Lauren Kang, Reporter

In a change from the Dancing With The Stars format of the last two years, W.A.D.E. sponsored  a So You Think You Can Dance  competition last Friday to a sold-out crowd in the Field House.

Eight teams met up with instructors from the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Niantic each week to prepare for this event. It was a ten-week process for the dancers to come together, pick a theme, costumes and learn their dance routine.

Senior Billy Bartelli, who was a part of The Bartelli Dance Team, said, “We had practice every week and it was an experience I will never forget. We had fun just getting out there. We were always laughing at each other. SYTYCD was a great event for a good cause.”

Teams consisted of WPD officers, local teachers and students, and well-known individuals amongst the community. Many WHS students were a part of the eight teams competing that night, including seniors Justin Barcazk, Ryan Erricson and Billy Bartelli, junior Kaylee Thurlow, sophomores Hannah Shonenberg, Emma Radack, Brittany Campbell, Sarah Pacheco, and freshman Sasha Amodeo.

Senior Angela Pezzello was one of the six judges judging the dance teams that night. Pezzello said, “I liked judging a lot. It was a great experience. It wasn’t hard to judge the teams because I felt like all the teams were entertaining and had all worked hard.”

Each team had one goal in mind: to perform to the best of their abilities and earn a score of a 10 from the judges.

“Teams that earned a 10 not only entertained us and the crowd, but they also had that little extra something, like some cool trick or facials put into their dance” said Pezzello.

Although there could only be one winner, the other dance teams seemed to be okay with that because in the end they all had fun. Campbell and Pacheco members of the Yac Attack team said, “We thought it was fun and a great experience. We would love to do it again next year.”

The winners of this year’s SYTYCD was One Correction a team of elementary school teachers and the last team to perform.

W.A.D.E Coalition, the Waterford Police Department and Waterford Youth Service Bureau sponsored this event. WYSB director Dani Gorman stated,“I think the show was a great community event and I am so grateful to everyone who made the night so much fun and special. Over 1,300 people came out to support our efforts to combat substance use.”