Sheridan, a student at Off the Wall and a member of the studio’s competition team, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma this spring. The week of the recital, the 7-year-old underwent a revolutionary new surgery in which a bone in her thigh was replaced with a prosthetic bone designed to “grow” with Sheridan. During the surgery, doctors removed the tumor in her thigh, and according to her father, “her prosthesis went in perfectly.” Sheridan has returned home and is preparing to continue chemotherapy treatment, reported her parents, James and Melinda Bautista.
Dancers have dedicated this year’s competition season to Sheridan. They have worked to support her, not only by raising money to help with her medical expenses but also by raising awareness of her condition. At each competition, the girls wear “Sheridan Bautista” bracelets, and at their last event, when awarding Off The Wall's "Here Comes The Rain" with a Special Award for Cute & Clever Concept in choreography, a judge called one of the dancers up to share the story behind the special bracelets and to talk about Sheridan, her disease, and her treatment. The dance team was complimented on their support of a fellow student.
OTW Competition Team dancers will finish their 2010-2011 season this weekend as they travel to Dallas to attend the Tremaine Dance Convention and Competition, where they will study under professional dancers in the disciplines of ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and hip hop. Dancers will study under such professional artists as Laurie Johnson, a tap dancer recently featured on the TV series Glee; Jeff Amsden, who has performed in many stage productions and teaches ballet; Tony Bellissimo, who dances on Rihanna’s 2011 World Tour and has appeared on Glee, and Marty Dew, who has appeared on Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush and many hit music videos and was recently featured in nationwide advertising for Old Navy and Best Buy.
Students will also perform their award-winning dances in the competition portion of the event. Dances that will be performed at Tremaine include “Tea Party,” a jazz number; “Reine de Parasols,” a ballet performance; “Here Comes the Rain,” a jazz routine; “Speak Well of Me,” a lryical Jazz duet by Evan Smiley and Alyssa Pickering, and solos by Smiley and Pickering.
Throughout the activities this weekend, the dancers will be honoring their little teammate Sheridan as she struggles through her difficult journey.