Dance company under scrutiny after lock-in event | Southwest Orange

A nearby dance studio is staying place under a spotlight after feeding a person of its youthful dancers cat food items, and the Bergren household — of Windermere — is furious.

The incident transpired all through a workforce lock-in celebration hosted by the Horizon West-centered Artistic Soles Dance Firm Saturday, Jan. 23, when dance pupils returned to the studio — next time at a local film theater — for enjoyable and online games.

In accordance to Jennifer Bergren, studio proprietor Elizabeth Mico identified as her involving 11 p.m. and midnight and instructed her that her 10-year-old daughter, Kayla, was fed cat foodstuff all through a food stuff obstacle activity the place college students experienced to guess what they had been getting specified. The cat meals, Jennifer Bergren was informed, was meant for an older student.

“My spouse and I are even now trying to course of action it and offer with it,” Frank Bergren stated. “We can’t fathom how someone could consciously do this, and there is just no suitable from this incorrect that has occurred.

“They liked this put — this has been their harmless area, dance is their point, and they’ve been there for a long time,” he reported of his two daughters. 

When Frank Bergren picked his daughters up, Mico apologized, but just after leaving, he requested each Kayla and Lauren, 11, what transpired. 

Lauren said Kayla was sat down in a chair, applied her experience mask as a blind fold and was fed the cat foods out of a cup by an teacher. She said a different instructor gave a various scholar a canine biscuit. She also said the teacher who fed Kayla the cat foodstuff questioned Mico, “Do I put it in her mouth?” Mico responded “yes” before Kayla was fed the cat foods, Frank Bergren reported.

The frustration continued into the next working day, when the Bergrens and Mico exchanged texts and telephone phone calls. Through a single of individuals cell phone phone calls, Mico questioned the Bergrens if they would be more comfy if she removed the two instructors from the course — while letting them continue to be on for recreational lessons — which was achieved with criticism and the shifting of the narrative, Frank Bergren reported.

“We needed the studio to just be genuine and inform us what happened so we could figure out how to move ahead with it and make choices for ourselves based mostly on that, and we could not get there,”  Frank Bergren mentioned. “Basically immediately after the very first phone call that we experienced, there was no denial — there’s hardly ever been a denial of the event. The only modify in the tale was who did it.”

The following working day — Monday, Jan. 25 — the Bergrens submitted a police report against Mico and teacher Madison Shifflett, the female who Lauren claimed had fed her sister cat food stuff. Given that then, the Bergrens have pulled their daughters out of the university and have satisfied with the Division of Boy or girl Companies. Most recently, they spoke with an investigator seeking into the case. 

Legal professional Joseph Fitos, of Orlando-based mostly Gray-Robinson, is representing Artistic Soles Dance Organization.

“We truly feel like this was a situation where by it was just a kid’s video game wherever somebody’s thoughts acquired harm, and it’s a disgrace,” Fitos explained. “We despise to see that, of course — the complete reason of these gatherings is they are workforce-constructing gatherings. … It’s just regrettable that this younger girl was upset. … As considerably as this staying a predicament that is deserving of the awareness that it is been obtaining, since of the way that the mother and father have reacted, we really don’t feel that it has got any benefit.”