Monday, August 17, 2009

Dance Studio Held Dance-A-Thon For Charity

The Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan participated in a Dance-A-Thon last weekend, starting at noon on Friday and ending on noon on Saturday. There were lessons in Latin dances such as the Salsa, Merengue or Samba and also Country line dancing, Belly dancing, Swing, Jive, Charleston, Hip hop and even Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

All proceeds went to the Variety FAR Conservatory for the Therapeutic and Performing Arts, a non-profit organization that provides creative arts therapy and recreation services for children and adults with mental, physical and/or emotional impairments.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring joy to people who need it,” said Arlene Kass, executive director of FAR, which stands for Fun, Arts and Recreation.

FAR had been using money from grants from foundations to take about 15 students to get social dance lessons in Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield for the past three years, but this year they lost some grants because of the economy.

So Evan Mountain, owner of the Fred Astaire studio, said: “No way we’re going to stop doing this … we’re going to find a way to get the money.”

That’s when they decided to hold this dance-a-thon, and use the money raised to send students to take dance lessons.

“It’s our way of helping them,” said Lada Reschikova, co-owner of the Astaire studio.

Kass said raising $2,000 will send 15 students for a semester, and $4,000 will send them for a year. Kass said they can only fit 15 students for an hour in the dance studio.

“When we tell them we can only take 15 children, the phone starts ringing — they love going,” she said. “If you see our kids dancing with their professionals, it’s really something. The students seem to sense that these teachers know they can do it.”

FADS is a national franchise with studios in many states, but the one in Bloomfield Hills is the only studio in Michigan. Reschikova said they do private lessons, groups lessons and dance parties.

The dance-a-thon last weekend was the first time this studio did something like this, Reschikova said.

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