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Canton native’s Italian odyssey leads to Kelly Clarkson Show (and much more)

 Canton native’s Italian odyssey leads to Kelly Clarkson Show (and much more)

Kacie Rose, a 2011 graduate of Canton High School and former professional dancer, is embarking on a book-signing tour — and an appearance on the Kelly Clarkson Show.

During the debut season of “American Idol” that ran through the summer of 2003, 9-year-old Canton native Kacie Rose and her mom, Rose, never missed an episode.

“We watched it religiously,” Kacie reflected, “mostly because we loved (eventual winner) Kelly Clarkson. We would dial the number to vote for Kelly endlessly.”

Fast-forward 21 years later to May 29, 2024, the day Kacie taped an appearance as a guest on NBC’s — you guessed it! — “The Kelly Clarkson Show”.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so excited,” she revealed a few days before the taping of the show that is scheduled to air June 20.

“I just hope I don’t black out,” she quipped, laughing. “I keep telling myself, ‘I gotta be cool. I gotta be cool’ … but that will last about three seconds.”

Compelling journey

Rose’s journey that led to her being asked to appear on her idol’s talk show is nearly — if not equally — as compelling as Clarkson’s rise to stardom.

Canton native Kacie Rose is pictured in Italy where she owns her own travel business
Canton native Kacie Rose is pictured in Italy where she owns her own travel business

Here’s a condensed version of Rose’s ultra-fascinating life: She lived her youth in Canton’s Cherry Hill Village, attended Tonda Elementary School and Pioneer Middle School, before graduating from Canton High School in 2011.

A passion for the performing arts — she calls Canton’s Central City Dance her “second family” — led her to New York City’s Pace University, where she studied commercial dance at the Sands College of Performing Arts in downtown Manhattan.

For close to a decade, Rose excelled as a dancer and singer in musical theater — both in New York City and throughout the country — and then COVID-19 reared its ugly head, shutting down the theater industry for several months.

“When the industry shut down, I thought about my career a lot and came to the conclusion that maybe I wasn’t as happy as I thought I was,” she said. “That’s when my partner, Dario (a native Italian who she met on a spur-of-the-moment solo visit to Italy in 2018), and I decided to move to Italy together.”

Welcome to the viral world of social media

As Kacie and Dario sat in the airport waiting to board their flight to Italy, she recorded a video with her phone — the video’s theme focused on how they spontaneously decided to move to a new country.

“I posted it on social media, which I rarely did,” she remembered. “Then I turned my phone off.”

Kacie Rose tastes a helping of delicious gelato
Kacie Rose tastes a helping of delicious gelato

Once she powered up her phone again in Europe, Kacie was floored by what she saw.

“The video had gone viral,” she said. “The number of views just kept spiraling and spiraling, growing and growing into something I never could have imagined.”

Jumping ahead a little in the Kacie Rose journey, she now has 1.1 million followers on TikTok, over 500,000 on Instagram and 250,000-ish on YouTube.

Yes, it’s safe to say she has a knack for social media.

Multi-faceted professional

It turns out she’s also a pretty good travel agent/guide and first-time author.

Not long after setting anchor in Florence, Italy, with Dario, she started posting social-media videos that focused on everything from travel tips to culture shock.

The compelling nature of her posts grew her following to the stratospheric level it’s at today.

Blessed with boundless ambition and ingenuity, Kacie then launched Kacie Rose Travel, a business that focuses on planning group travel excursions for tourists throughout Italy.

“We’ll meet as strangers but quickly become friends, eating (duh), exploring, and making some core memories around Italy, together,” her website reads.

“I have acquired so many stories out of my failures, mistakes, successes and funny things I’ve experienced while helping tourists visit Italy, it made sense to start writing these things down, which I did,” she said.

Let’s give writing a try!

One day, Kacie decided to turn her notes into a book — “You Deserve Good Gelato — Reasons to travel the world, embrace failure and do the sh*t that scares you”.

“Each chapter focuses on lessons I’ve learned or challenges I’ve overcome on my journey,” she said.

Her just-released book — you can purchase it anywhere that sells books — earned amazing pre-sale reviews.

She has been interviewed on CNN Travel, among other worldwide media, and is embarking on an exciting nationwide book-signing tour that will stop in Ann Arbor May 31 (this event has already sold out) and Grand Rapids on June 13 at 6:30 p.m. at Schuler Books, 2660 28th St. SE. To RSVP for the Grand Rapids event, click here.

And don’t forget to watch the Kelly Clarkson show on June 20 when Kacie Rose’s incredible life comes full circle.

Although, considering Kacie’s itinerary of accomplishments, her journey is only beginning.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

Kacie Rose
Kacie Rose
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Ed Wright

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