Saturday, December 13, 2008 9:04 AM EST
SEEKONK - Eleven dancers from the Shannon O'Brien School of Dance, along with their instructor and choreographer are in Poland this week to represent the United States for the World Modern Championships and World Jazz Cup.
The competition began Wednesday and lasts through this Sunday, Dec. 14.
In April, during a regional dance competition held in North Andover, the elite dancers who are high school and college age, received an invitation to the USA qualifying event held in Boston.
On July 2, the dancers performed at the International Dance Organization's USA qualifying event held in the Boston Sheraton and Hynes Convention Center.
Only 35 dancers were selected to represent the country at the prestigious competition. "They couldn't believe it," recalled Co-Director Shannon Marshall of the reaction when the dancers learned they had been selected.
Marshall said the dancers were "very excited" about the competition. In the 16 years of running the school, Marshall noted that the school's dancers had traveled all over the United States, but never out of the country.
The event is hosted by the International Dance Organization which is made up of 85 member nations. The 2008 World Championships will draw 3000 of the most talented dancers from more than 35 countries.
The dancers competing include Kelsey Ahmed, Courtney Asselin, Elyssa Cipriano, Kelsey Fournier, Mikayla Kolb, Alyssa Lubera, Julia Neto, Caitlyn Shepard, Stephanie Beaudoin, Katie Rei, and Julie Cassamas-White.