Dance studio

Greenwood Dance Studio scrambles to replace stolen items days before national competition

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GREENWOOD, Ind. – Members of a Greenwood dance studio are working as fast as they can to rebuild and replace items that were inside an equipment trailer stolen from the studio’s parking lot over the weekend. end.

Efforts have increased with urgency as many stolen props and sets will be needed at a national dance competition in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee this weekend.

Inspire Dance Company Studio manager Trista Horner said the theft happened between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

“We came in Monday for rehearsals, and it was on,” Horner said.

This photo shows the equipment trailer stolen from Inspire Dance Company on Sunday, July 4, 2021.

Horner said the equipment is not normally stored in the trailer. However, the studio had recently performed at a recital, and the trailer was due to drop on Monday.

After the initial shock of the crime, it was realized that the team was only days away from departing for the Nationals, and several props and sets needed for the competition were suddenly missing.

“Everyone was a little sick of it,” Horner said. “These kids work so hard and 34 kids were heartbroken on Monday.”

“We didn’t have any props, and for some of our dances we have to use all the props,” said 11-year-old team member Jacob Osburn.

“I just told them we were going to find a solution,” Horner said. “Anything we have to do to get you to nationals and produce you, we will do.”

At this point, Horner says team members and their families have responded to the new challenge.

“Literally on that day, parents were going to Home Depot, they were buying things left and right,” she said.

Over the past three days, between classes and rehearsals, crew members and their families have spent long hours rebuilding the rig boxes, sets and other props that will be needed on stage this weekend. . They also purchased smaller items to use as hand props during the competition.

Time is running out as the team departs Thursday for Tennessee.

“And parents have been stepping up and working long hours, but I think we’re almost there,” Horner said.

“I spent more time in the studio this week than ever before,” said 14-year-old Gabby Julien. “And it’s just crazy how our team has come together in less than three days.”

“We all participated and helped a lot,” said 13-year-old Savana Robb. “So I feel like we’re going to be prepared, and we’ve almost finished them all, which is good.”

At this point, Horner feels good to be ready for Nationals this weekend. The props are nearly done, and the team has another trailer on temporary loan.

Beyond this weekend, however, it could still take thousands of dollars to replace several tumble mats and a balance beam that were lost when the trailer was stolen.

A permanent trailer will also need to be purchased if the stolen trailer is not found and returned. History has shown that to be a possibility. In fact, this is the third time this same trailer has been stolen in recent years. It has already been found and returned twice. Horner hopes it happens again this time, even if it’s not in time for this weekend’s competition.

“It’s very frustrating, and it just drives me, it just drives me crazy that they’re basically stealing the kids,” she said.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Department investigates the theft as Horner asks everyone to keep an eye out for him. The two-wheel trailer is white with a streak of pink paint on the right side. It has an Indiana “TR354ZCL” trailer license plate.