GREENWOOD — Trista Horner owns Inspire Dance Company in Greenwood. Whenever her team travels to dance competitions, Horner uses a trailer to transport all the set pieces, props and supplies they need.
Usually, after a competition, Horner and her husband will tow the trailer to the studio and empty out all the items and then park it next to the building. But last week, after a long competition, they decided to leave the items inside, knowing there was another contest right around the corner.
The trailer was stolen on Sunday with all the valuables inside.
“We came in on Monday, all the kids came in on Monday for rehearsals Monday morning and realized the trailer was gone,” said Horner.
While the dancers practiced, parents and studio staff worked non-stop to recreate the items that were stolen.
The dancers have been practicing for competitions since December and the set pieces are a major part of the routines. Horner says it is easier to remake all of the props and set items than to rechoreograph just days before a competition.
The displays and props took months to make, but this time around there were only a few days to work with. Between when Horner learned the trailer was stolen and when they leave for their next contest, there were just 3 days.
“One of the dads helped build all this stuff since Monday when we found out. He’s been working around the clock, and now we’re just putting the finishing touches on things,” said Abby Newport, who is a parent of a dancer and a teacher at the studio.
Newport and another staff member were going through a list of all the routines to ensure they had made new versions of everything they needed.
Horner says it’s been amazing how much help she’s gotten throughout the past few days, “It’s just been overwhelming really, it’s kind of a small miracle that four months of work has been accomplished in three days.”
Horner says the value of what was inside the trailer was maybe a couple thousand dollars. That cost would’ve been a major challenge for her to cover at this time. She’s still recovering from the impacts of the pandemic on her business. Luckily, others have stepped in to cover the costs.
“Parents have donated money to help offset the cost which was very helpful. Because coming off of a covid business like this we were just starting to recover,” said Horner.
This is the third time the trailer has been stolen from the lot. The last two times there were not valuable items inside and the trailer was dumped and returned to her. She’s hoping that will happen again. If she has to purchase a new trailer, she’s not sure she’ll be able to afford it.
“The biggest thing is just trying to keep their eyes peeled for the trailer. I mean if we could just get it back, it’s not worth anything. It’s not super nice. It just will help us not have to purchase a new one,” said Horner.
She says she’ll be installing a camera in case anything like this happens in the future. She also plans to add a tracking device to the trailer, especially if she has to purchase a new one.
The trailer is white and has a small pink ribbon design on the side door. If you see it you are asked to contact the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.