SheBANG!! packs for dance voyage

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 19, 2003

While many youngsters are packing their backpacks in anticipation of the beginning of the school year, a large group of dancers are packing for a trip on the deep blue sea.

Members of the SheBANG!! Championship Clog Dance Company will set sail for the Bahamas as the featured entertainment aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on Wednesday.

Nearly 30 members of the dance company will perform as one of the Royal Caribbean's selected summer entertainers.

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Trisha Ratcliffe said she likes to offer travel opportunities for the dancers.

"I hear about places that offer these kinds of opportunities and we put together some video clips and a portfolio and submit them," she said. "We have been fortunate to be accepted at several great places."

The dancers are responsible for their own expenses, but the community has been very generous in its support," Ratcliffe said. "We sold sponsorships on tee shirts and the businesses were very supportive. We had several fundraisers to help with the expenses and we had donations which were very helpful, too."

The SheBANG!! dance company will leave Wednesday night for Port Canaveral and board the Royal Caribbean on Thursday. There will be stopovers in Nassau and Coco Cay before the dancers take the stage on Saturday night.

"We have one performance and it's on Music Man stage," Ratcliffe said. "I believe that's one of the bigger stages. We don't know who else will be performing along with us, but we do know that we will have the stage for 30 minutes. That will be enough time for about 10 to 12 dances."