Dance Team helps local night shine

February 28, 2022

SHIPSHEWANA — Eighteen members of Trine University’s High Voltage Dance Team and Trine mascot Storm, dressed in his finest, were part of a LaGrange County special event to celebrate those with disabilities.

The eighth annual Night to Shine, founded and supported by the Tim Tebow Foundation, took place nationwide on Feb. 11. The event provides a prom night experience for tens of thousands of people ages 14 and older who have special needs.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2022 version was held as a “Shine Through” parade and virtual celebration.

The LaGrange Shine Through was hosted at the Shipshewana Trading Place antique auction barn. More than 120 people with disabilities participated, riding in cars and trucks through the barn.

Participants were cheered by volunteers and High Voltage, got their photos taken with three local beauty queens, and received a crown or tiara and snack box.

Shea Sims, Trine’s head cheer and dance coach, said the team “absolutely loved being able to participate.”

“For two hours they danced, laughed, smiled and interacted with guests, making sure they had the most memorable night possible,” Sims said. “As I coach I was more than proud of my girls. It was truly awesome to sit back and watch them be able to do what they love most while putting a smile on so many faces.”

Sims said Allisa Brown, the LaGrange Night to Shine coordinator, contacted her in November asking if the team would be interested.

“One of our current members, Jenna Zabona, has participated in Night to Shine for years as a pageant title holder,” Sims said. “She was a huge help in getting us educated on the event as well as a main point of contact with Allisa.”

LaGrange Night to Shine is sponsored by the LaGrange Church of God and supported by community members and businesses.

Tim Tebow, who will speak at Trine University’s Commencement on May 7, was inspired to launch Night to Shine after an experience at age 15 in the Philippines, where his parents served as missionaries.

On the Tim Tebow Foundation website, the former Heisman Trophy winner and current ESPN analyst recounts the story of visiting a remote village and meeting a boy named Sherwin.

“Sherwin was born with his feet on backwards and was viewed as ‘cursed’ in his village,” Tebow says. “When the people saw me hold Sherwin, they realized that the good news of Jesus Christ applies to everyone. It was then that my passion grew to help people.”

  • Night to Shine

    Night to Shine - Members of Trine University's High Voltage Dance Team with participants in the LaGrange Night to Shine, held in Shipshewana on Feb. 11.

  • Night to Shine

    Night to Shine - Members of Trine University's High Voltage Dance Team and Trine mascot Storm with participants in the LaGrange Night to Shine, held in Shipshewana on Feb. 11.

  • Dance Team with Storm

    Dance Team with Storm - Members of Trine University's High Voltage Dance Team and Trine mascot Storm performed at the LaGrange Night to Shine, held in Shipshewana on Feb. 11.

  • Performing

    Performing - Members of Trine University's High Voltage Dance Team perform at the LaGrange Night to Shine, held in Shipshewana on Feb. 11.

  • Tim Tebow

    Tim Tebow - Members of Trine University's High Voltage Dance Team and Trine mascot Storm pose with a cutout of former Heisman Trophy winner and current ESPN analyst Tim Tebow at the LaGrange Night to Shine, held in Shipshewana on Feb. 11. Tebow's foundation supports the event nationwide. Tebow will speak at Trine's Commencement on May 7.

Last Updated: 02/28/2022

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