by Maddie Mason, Jamie Gilbert-Fitzpatrick, Eddie Bates

Imagine waking up at three in the morning, rolling out of bed and boarding a plane in South Carolina.  Then imagine stepping off the plane into the sunny paradise of California with a dollar and a dream.  Celebrity sightings, Wicked and an amazing performance at City Walk at Universal Studios Hollywood are just a few things that the Dazzler’s dance team trip across the country consisted of.

“The trip to California was as memorable as you could dream it to be. It was so smooth, easy and amazing. It was beautiful.” dance teacher Ginny Haynes said.

Senior Tia Dye agrees, saying that the trip was amazing.

“Being on the west coast for the first time was kind of nerve racking for a little bit because I got a New York vibe from it.  I know both places, California and New York, have a lot of people,” Tia said. “So I knew it was going to be a lot of people seeing these southern girls with matching t-shirts walking around taking pictures everywhere. Overall we obviously didn’t have a care in the world. We had fun.”

The dancers took master dance classes with Matt Steffanina, a renowned choreographer, and learned new dance moves and techniques.

“We took a jazz funk class at one of the top studios. That was amazing because of the talent and our choreographer was breath-taking. We took many classes like hip hop, jazz, and contemporary. We saw different styles of dance and it just opened us up,” senior Eneida Rivera said.

Not only did they take dance classes but they were invited to perform their own show at CityWalk in Universal Studios.  The Dazzlers show was 30 minutes long and it consisted of  group dances, duets, solos and quintets.

“They were phenomenal. It was 15 girls and it was our own 30 minute show. There was never a dead space on the stage. The music kind of went in and out of each other so they were on stage the entire time,” Haynes said.

The trip did not just consist of dancing, but the Dazzlers got to tour many tourist attractions such as Venice Beach, Santa Monica and Rodeo Drive.

“We saw every sight that you could see, every tourist attraction around.” Haynes said. “We met Neyo, got pictures of Iggy, and they met Tia Mowry from Sister Sister.”

Eneida is captivated by the culture change of the different coast.

“It was amazing. It’s not every day that a dance team gets to go across the country and do what they love to do in a totally different place. Especially with LA being the main attraction for the arts and dance. It was like here (South Carolina) times a million. It was great,”  Eneida said.

It’s not every day that a dance team of 15 gets to travel across the country to showcase their talent for people from around the world to watch.  The Dazzlers enjoyed their experience and benefitted overall from the trip to California.

“I feel like Dazzlers isn’t the biggest thing in the school,” Eneida said, “but for us as a club to go across the country to do something like that and have our own show really says a lot about the talent on our team and the talent in the arts overall.”