As I've mentioned before, dance studios serve as ideal venues for bringing the community together for worthwhile causes. In recent years Bay Area ballrooms seem to be assisting more nonprofits that face challenging economic conditions. Social media has made it easier to "rally the dance troops" when the need is great. Dance studio managers may also sense that building community ties and teaching students to form partnerships on the dance floor are related, requiring similar attitudes. It's all about teamwork, striving for a common need or goal for everyone involved.
Wheelchair Dance Competition - a huge success!
On August 24 our studio had the honor of hosting its first Wheelchair Ballroom Dance Competition, due to a unique partnership between the American DanceWheels Foundation and the Palo Alto VA Hospital Spinal Cord Injury Center. Attendance exceeded expectations.
Our main ballroom was packed. All contestants were impressive and some acrobatic routines were simply amazing. Dancers were rewarded with the admiration of a cheering audience, and cash prizes were awarded to the highest-ranking performers, thanks to generous sponsors. Top winners received VIP tickets to "Dancing with the Stars" in Hollywood during Season 15, starting in a few weeks. Best of all, the wheelchair dancers are inspired more than ever, preparing for their next lessons, performances – and future competitions! Stay tuned.
Dance 4 Health Fundraiser - September 21
A San Jose-based nonprofit program that promotes dancing as an integral component in a healthy lifestyle, Dance 4 Health is another example of outstanding community service. Our Mountain View studio is hosting a fundraiser for this widely admired organization on Friday, September 21, between 5 and 7 p.m.
Dance 4 Health was founded in 2006 by Elaine and Alex Dziekanowski, two health care professionals with over 50 years of combined experience. They are also accomplished ballroom dancers, having danced socially and competitively for three decades. Elaine, a registered nurse, worked at Stanford Medical Center, and Alex worked in physical therapy at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, helping patients with spinal cord and head injuries.
Drawing upon their medical knowledge and years of dancing, they are committed to teaching principles of fitness, nutrition, and motivational techniques to make dancing a lifelong activity, helping to prevent diabetes and obesity.
Targeting economically disadvantaged communities, their program reaches out to adults and children in the South Bay who are at higher risk for chronic diseases. Dance 4 Health offers a carefully structured after-school program, a team approach that involves health care and nutrition specialists, dance teachers, elementary school staff, parents, and children 8 to 10 years of age.
With sharp cuts in government and sponsorship funding, Dance 4 Health finds itself relying on private contributions to continue its mission. Individual donations are greatly needed, but dance shoes, costumes and dance outfits for younger dancers are gratefully accepted.
Admission for the September 22 studio event is just $10! You can expect to enjoy refreshments, a West Coast Swing lesson, kids performances, professional dance demonstrations by studio staff, general social dancing, auctions, and raffle prizes.
Hope to see you on the dance floor!
A champion dancer and six-time finalist on "Dancing with the Stars", Cheryl Burke is the founder of a dance studio complex in Mountain View. For more information, see cherylburkedance.com and click on "Contact Us" or see our Facebook pages.
© 2012, Cheryl Burke Dance, LLC. All rights reserved.