Appleton (WBAY) -- Hundreds of dancers made their way to Appleton North High School on Saturday, for the statewide Lightning Bolt Explosion dance and cheer competition.
For this special needs team, getting the chance to perform is a dream come true.
“There’s no age limit. There’s no ability level that you need. Anyone and everyone who wants to dance is given that chance. That's kind of what the Dream Team is all about,” says Alexis Trost, coach of Hartford’s Dream Team.
Five dancers with special needs, ages nine to 39 make up the Dream Team, are taking the stage this weekend to celebrate more than their love of dance.
“I like to be with my friends on the Dream Team,” says Haylee Wolff, a Dream Team dancer. “Like all my friends. And I like to dance. Dance is my passion.”
For some, like Stefanie McMullen, this is the first season as part of the team.
“It's my first year, and it's nice meeting new friends,” she says.
Others, like Dream Team captain Rachel Helland, have been performing since the team was founded, six years ago.
“[I like dancing] because I can be … a stronger person,” Helland says.
“When these athletes take the stage, you kind of are reminded why you started dancing in the first place,” Trost says. “You're able to see the joy, you're able to see how much fun they're having. You remember it's really about how you feel when you take the stage, not about what you put out there.”
For Dream Team dancers, it’s about more than the standing ovation they received – but about coming together as a team.
“Really at the end of the day, we all love to dance. We're all passionate about dance, and at the same time, we're passionate about being kind, and being able to share our love together,” Trost says.
Saturday’s performance was the first of the season for the Dream Team.