By MIKE CHAIKEN
Bridget Stevens’ story began in Southington, took a detour to Poughkeepsie, and eventually landed in Los Angeles.
And her story will continue next year in London.
Bridget, a 13-year-old student at Kennedy Middle School, will be traveling to London, U.K. next year to dance and take classes.
Bridget’s journey though begins at Miss Cindy’s Dance Center in Southington. As part of that school’s competition team, she traveled to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. for the Spirit of Dance competition. Winning first place in lyrical dance, Bridget – who admires ballerina Misty Copeland— received a scholarship to join the Hollywood Summer Tour in Los Angeles. She was one of only 30 dancers across the globe to be selected.
Bridget said she didn’t know that her award-winning performance in Poughkeepsie would open up the door to a trip to Los Angeles by offering her a scholarship to the Hollywood Summer Tour. But when she learned what the event entailed, she said to her parents, “We have to go to this. It’s a once in a lifetime experience.”
From July 24 to 31, Bridget was in Los Angeles, taking classes with a variety of teachers and even worked with a choreographer at the celebrated Abby Lee Dance Company studios (from the Lifetime series, “Dance Moms.”)
“A lot of teachers were always telling us to believe in ourselves and work as hard as we can if want to be a dancer,” said Bridget. She said she liked receiving that confidence boost from her teachers.
While in Los Angeles, Bridget received a personal invitation to join the Hollywood Summer Tour when it traveled to London.
When she heard that she was invited, said Bridget, “I was very excited to go there.”
When she goes to Britain, Bridget said, “I want to experience if you’re in a different country if there are different types of styles there we don’t learn in the United States and if there are different ways they teach.”
Bridget said she enjoys dancing because “the rest of the world disappears for the amount of time you’re on stage and dancing from the heart.”
Personally, Bridget—who has won 90-plus trophies since starting dance competitions four years ago—said her favorite dance style is lyrical. “With lyrical, you can tell a more dramatic story with your dance moves,” said Bridget.
London is next on Bridget’s dance agenda. But down the road, she said she has dreams of dancing on Broadway.