It is divided into four age levels: Children (12 and under), Junior (13-16), Adult (17 and over), and Adult 2 (31 and over when applicable). Each level is broken up into the following categories: solos female, solos male, duos, trios, groups, and formations. There is also the production category, which can consists of dancers of all ages.
Nancy Chippendale of Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios in North Andover, MA has been bringing dancers to Germany since 2003. In 2015, Nancy and her daughters Karen, Kelli, and Kristina Carberry founded the American Tap Company (ATC). The United States Tap Team is now composed of ATC dancers that travel to Europe annually to compete in the World Championships.
We were bringing 82 dancers from across the country to Germany to compete in the competition. We trained for months, rehearsing our numbers to perfection, until we were finally ready to take on Riesa. The weekend after Thanksgiving, we all met in North Andover, ready to fly out on Saturday the 26th. There was only one problem: all of our flights were cancelled the day before.
Friday night after our showcase for friends and family, all of us went to bed worried sick. My coaches, the Carberry family, were up all night trying to find some way to get us to Germany. Lucky for us, a miracle occurred. A mom of two of the dancers was able to get in touch with her friend at United Airlines. She explained to him our troubling situation, and he went to work to make accommodations for the near 200 of us.
The next morning, we got a message on Facebook to meet at the studio at 7:00 in the morning so we could get to the airport. After about an hour of waiting (which included news coverage from WBZ-TV), we were flying out of Boston in groups. Between all of us, we went through Boston, Chicago, Newark, Toronto, Amsterdam, Iceland, London, Munich, Frankfurt, and Paris.
This trip was easily the most memorable one I have ever been on. I traveled to Europe for the first time, I danced on an international stage, I made friends from all over the world, and it took two full days just to get there. I am forever grateful for the miracle United Airlines pulled off, because without them I would not have had this experience of a lifetime.
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