Local mom, daughter set for ‘Dance Moms’

WESTFIELD — For Loree Cloud and her daughter Jade, dancing is life; it’s in their blood. So when they heard about auditions for the Lifetime network show, “Dance Moms,” they almost immediately signed up.
Cloud, owner and director of the New England Dance and Gymnastics Centers that has locations in Westfield and Granby, Conn., and 15-year old Jade attended the show auditions in New York City, alongside thousands of others. This was only one of several such auditions being held nationwide and online, but the local pair remained optimistic.
“It went from thousands of dancers down to 500. Then down to 300. And [Jade] kept making the cut,” Cloud said. “But we initially thought, ‘What are the chances that they pick us?’”
Chosen as finalists after the initial audition, they went through the next steps in the process—in-person interviews, Skype interviews and solo dance auditions. According to Cloud, the judging panel (including the show’s star, professional dancer and studio director Abby Lee Miller) was partial to Jade because of her skill and talents in all forms of dance and tumbling, from ballet and tap to hip-hop and gymnastics, and everything in between.
Once the process was done, life went back to normal for the Clouds. Dance classes continued, as did dance competitions.
Then the call came.
“Jade was just jumping up and down, screaming,” Cloud said. They soon traveled to Los Angeles earlier this year to make their first appearance on the show (at the end of season 4).
They will continue on as cast members throughout season 5. Taping began several weeks ago and wrapped up earlier this week.
It was hectic, Cloud said. Jade was in dance classes and competitions all day, basically every day, as Cloud and the other moms spent a lot of time together, talking, watching rehearsals and sitting in on classes—all while several cameras followed nearly every move.
“Having the cameras on us all the time was hard at first. They saw everything, they heard everything,” Cloud said. “But you get used to it. After a few days, it was like they weren’t even there.”
Following the initial adjustment, she said the experience for both of them was amazing and is a culmination of many years of hard work and dedication.
“She [Jade] has worked so hard for years, and worked so hard for this opportunity,” Cloud said, noting that Jade has been home-schooled for the past year to allow her time to go to auditions and attend competitions. “She’s given up a lot to pursue this.”
Jade, along with Cloud’s older daughter, Hayley (who was featured on “So You Think You Can Dance” a few years ago), have been dancing and performing since age 2. While Jade continues to dance and compete, Hayley is now co-director of New England Dance and teaches numerous classes. Cloud couldn’t be prouder.
“I get to share my passion for teaching with my older daughter, and my passion for performing with my younger daughter,” she said. “It’s great to think that the love and passion I have for dancing has been passed down to them.”
The new season of “Dance Moms” premieres on July 29 at 9 pm on Lifetime. Learn more online at www.mylifetime.com/shows/dance-moms.

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