WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A West Lafayette dance team is heading to New York City to compete in an international competition.
On Saturday, News 18 stepped into the Turning Pointe Academy studios as dancers prepared for their big day.
“When you walk into Turning Pointe, it's a little bit different than going to a dance studio that's why it's called an Academy,” said Turning Pointe Academy Owner Alisha Kuckartz.
Turning Pointe Academy has secured a spot in this year's World Dance Championship in New York City but Kuckartz said it's not just their dancing skills that got them there.
“It's called an Academy,” said Kuckartz. “I chose that word purposefully because I wanted it to be a full educational experience.”
Dance class includes journaling and having problem-solving discussions. Growing as young individuals and dancers are what Kuckartz believes builds a much stronger team.
“By developing the whole person then opportunities such as this become available,” said Kuckartz. “They know what work ethic means and they know about discipline and they know about what it means to be a strong team member.”
Dancer Makenna Lane is really feeling the love and support from her teammates. Her family recently lost their home in the Lindberg Village house fires. She wasn't sure if she'd be able to attend this year's competition.
“All of my costumes were destroyed like everything was destroyed,” said Lane.
Past and present Turning Pointe families couldn't let her miss out. Especially since this is the first year the dance studio has been selected to compete at World Dance Championship.
“I couldn't be more grateful because they've been making donations, making a meal train and I'm just so overwhelmed with all the love,” said Lane.
As the dancers perfect their routines before the big competition, Kuckartz hopes they remember one message.
“We've prepared very well for this event,” said Kuckartz. “We are not in it for trophies that are certainly always nice when that does happen but I teach them that they're winners when they step out onto the stage.”
The competition starts on Jul. 30 and ends on Aug. 4. Turning Pointe's Senior Hip-Hop Ensemble and Star Lights Pom dancers will both be competing. There will be more than 200 teams from all across the world in attendance.
After the competition, the dancers plan to enjoy their time in the Big Apple.