collinsville dance studio

March Benefit Concert | Collinsville Dance Studio

On March 29, 2015 our Collinsville dance studio joined forces with Fusion Dance Center (Greenville/Hillsboro) and Vandalia Performing Arts Center (Vandalia) to raise money for a sweet little girl named Grace who has INAD. Both Fusion Dance Center and Vandalia Performing Arts Center host a benefit dance concert each year, and this year we were thrilled to be invited by Fusion Dance Center to perform and help raise money. We raised over a thousand dollars that will go towards paying off hospital bills and living costs for Grace.

I loved doing this concert for two big reasons.

  1. It shows my competitive dance company girls that dance is more than a trophy and a critique. All of these girls have spent the last 6+ years of their lives dancing as much as they possibly can and it is without a doubt a passion deep in their hearts. While they love competition, they simply love to dance more than anything else. This is why they were honored and excited to get to work together with other dancers and help raise money for a great cause. Fusion Dance Center’s motto is, “More than just dancing” and I think that speaks so much about what it is that we as dance teachers and dancers do. These dancers made a difference in a little girl’s life and I know given the opportunity they would do it again.
  2. It brought multiple dance studios together. Dance studios, dancers, and dance teachers aren’t known to have a great relationship with others outside of their own studio. I grew up in the dance studio world and have watched countless dancers grow up and have heard catty remarks made from one dancer to another, from another teacher, etc. and it breaks my heart. Even though there are other studios we all have one thing in common no matter what their policies are, what their enrollment is like, and how they teach their technique—every one of us LOVES dance. We love to learn it, watch it, and DO it. Bringing three studios together showed my girls that those other dancers were just as sweet and hard working as they are, and their studio owners love their dancers as I love mine, and we all encouraged EVERYONE. I’m hoping that I can urge my dancers more than ever to not have a harsh comeback when someone with a different background calls a “turn in second” by another name and accuse us of being “wrong”, but instead ask what they call that turn and discuss other names of which it is known by. Dance is universal and I want my dancers to explore it in the world and all around and be proud of their roots but be open to learning from others. This is the reason why I send out emails to interested parents about further learning opportunities as I hear about it.

march benefit concertI am hoping that in the 2015-2016 dance year I will have a performance company in addition to my competitive company and that with the total number of dancers present I’ll be able to host my own benefit concert, and invite Fusion Dance Center, Vandalia Performing Arts Center, and whoever else is interested to perform alongside of us. I love when people put their passion to a great purpose.

Click Here to read more about the story of little Grace.

collinsville dance studio

2014 Nutcracker Dance Recital

Each year GYDA has a charity Nutcracker dance recital to raise food, toys, hygiene items, and paper items to donate to the Collinsville Food Pantry. On November 22, thirty four of our dancers performed in our annual Nutcracker performance. Each year our show is a different variation of the original show. As much as possible I try to not have a dancer repeat a group part and no dancer has ever repeated a main character.

With this in mind, our show varies each year. This year we had “Party Girls” who attend the party with Clara in the beginning of the show, Mice (our youngest participants), Flowers (older and younger), Dolls (our oldest dancers), Toys (our company dancers), and a variety of main characters (mostly soloists) including Clara, Fritz, Sugar Plum Fairy, Nutcracker, Arabian Princess, Chinese Princess, Russian Princess, Spanish Princess, Angel Princess, Snowflake Princess, a Lead Flute, a “Tarantella Princess” (GYDA created that part!), and a Flower Princess. For the second year in a row we added a “Surprise finale” and had the entire cast (along with any alumni in the crowd or dancers from our studio who opted out of Nutcracker participation) sing, act out, and dance to Mariah Carey’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” From early November through our last week before Christmas Break our youngest dancers sing/dance/act out that song and it is my FAVORITE part of Christmas, so I decided to bring it to the stage!

One of the best parts about our Nutcracker show is that it’s a group effort in every way. Not only do the dancers learn specific routines and where character costumes, each character/group/main part has an additional responsibility to make our show a success. Many parts have to bring boxes for the donated items to ease the stress on the food pantry. Some parts are in charge of setting up or tearing down the scenery/stage. Whatever the role of the dancer, this show is only a success if everyone goes the extra mile, and each year GYDA dancers do just that.

Our 2014 Nutcracker show was a huge success! Thanks to the dancers who practiced hard for two months to make it such a great performance. Thanks to their parents and family members who have helped commute them where they need to go and who worked just as hard to contribute to our show! I look forward to making our 2015 show even better!