What skills do students learn in dance?
The one main skill that a lot of the newer workforce is missing today would be teamwork. … When you’re in a dance class and working in a team with other dancers, there’s lifts, partner work, and all kinds of things that need to come together. It’s really a sport that fosters independence, that fosters confidence and organizational skills.
How else are you helping young dance students?
Every year, I offer about $6,000 worth of scholarships to my current students who, throughout the year, have shown not just promise, but dedication, and I know their families have been struggling. So, I know there are a lot of people who would love to send their children to dance who just don’t have the means.
Some students come to us through DYFS, where they have been sponsored, which is nice. We have had local churches send us scholarships, which is also nice. We offer day camps from 9 a.m-12 p.m.; if kids whose parents are working had access to those camps, or a little bit more support, that could be part of their daycare. But right now, to access that, other than [through] the scholarships that I offer, is very difficult.
Have you ever taken advantage of NJBIA’s resources?
[During the COVID lockdown], we were [sort of] the forgotten child, per se. We were classified as gyms, which were not scheduled to open until September. We’re actually educators and that education was being blocked because of COVID and our gym classification. NJBIA was instrumental in getting us classified out of gyms and more in the education realm. If that had not happened, many dance studios in the area would not be functioning today.
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