On June 2, a group of approximately 120 girls and parents from the Ann Carroll School of Dance in Franklin headed to Orlando for a trip to Disney World. It was supposed to expose the dancers to the professional side of things and help them learn what it takes to dance for Disney or on Broadway.
A description on the school's website notes that the girls' "big finale was a performance with special guest- Goofy!"
What the description doesn't tell you, however, is the problem the school had in getting into Disney World — and how country star Trace Adkins' wife helped save the trip.
According to police records, the school had booked the trip in August 2012 through Blue Sky Journeys, a Franklin-based travel agency that describes itself as an "authorized Disney vacation planner." When the group arrived in Orlando, the shuttle pass number that had been given to them by Blue Sky's owner, John Swoap, didn't work. When the group finally got to the hotel, where Swoap was waiting for them, organizers learned that the girls didn't have park passes and Disney had no rooms for the dance school.
According to one parent, Disney put the group into a spare hotel.
That's when several parents, including Rhonda Adkins, pulled out their credit cards and picked up the tab. The trip went on, and the girls performed as planned.
Having already paid more than $70,000 to Swoap and Blue Sky Journeys, officials from the school filed complaints with Franklin police as well as the Orange County, Florida, sheriff's office.
On Aug. 12, a Williamson County grand jury indicted John and Melanie Swoap with one count of theft between $60,000 and $250,000. Blue Sky Journey's website is currently down. Melanie Swoap's professional Facebook page has not been updated since two days before the indictment.
John Swoap has also been indicted on two counts of criminal simulation for allegedly trying to cash checks twice.