RAISING THE BARRE: A VIRTUAL FUNDRAISER
Each spring, Columbia Dance depends on $40,000 being raised at our fundraising dinner to support student scholarships and other program expenses. This year, the event had to be cancelled. Although COVID-19 has hit the community hard, Columbia Dance is committed more than ever to our studio families and the love of arts that abounds in this community. Virtual classes are allowing students to feel connected, to have a sense of normalcy, and to use dance as an outlet to relieve stress. In the words of one parent, “Her dance is her sanity-- what you are doing right now matters!”
Please join the Columbia Dance community in making this 24 hour fundraising event a success by sending in your gift and spreading the word. Your donation will allow us to reassure our community that no parent will ever have to tell their child they cannot pursue their passion because of financial hardship.
Columbia Dance is proud to be offering 24 virtual classes to our students each week. Our physical doors closed on March 13th and on March 16th the first virtual class was streamed. Within days there were multiple videos up on our private YouTube channel and we were seeing heartwarming pictures and videos of our dancers taking class at home. Zoom classes were added to the virtual offerings so that students at every level could not only dance, but interact with faculty and receive personalized instruction and encouragement.
The strength of our community during this time has been incredibly inspirational to us, and it has been so heartwarming to see our kids not only show up with excellent attendance and focus in the Zoom classes, but visibly improving! Our faculty and staff are eager to try new things and manage working out of their homes in order to be there for our students.
Columbia Dance has always focused on teaching the whole dancer. Self-discipline, self-confidence, respect, wellness, teamwork, and so many other qualities are emphasized in the Columbia Dance studios. Seeing our students excel as they work in a room by themselves with only a chair to hold on to and their teacher's voice to push them, just goes to show that these life skills we strive to teach are, in fact, being mastered by our students. They are exhibiting self-motivation, confidence, and so much more as they learn to take dance class in a whole new way. We could not be more proud of them!
A BRIGHT FUTURE
While we dream of that day when the doors are open again and our dancers are moving together in the studios instead of by themselves at home, our dream is much bigger than that. None of our future plans have been derailed. We can't wait to add dance classes for children with disabilities to our array of classes. Our director and four advanced students have already been trained to implement a marvelous program called INCLUDE. Columbia Dance students will experience the joy of dancing with a new audience and children that may not have had access to a dance class before will be given that opportunity.
And we can't wait to start unveiling our new Fort Vancouver themed Nutcracker with brand new costumes and sets. Be sure to check out the video from our Director to hear more about these upcoming projects.
HOUR OF DANCE
(You decide which hour during this 24 hours)
During Raising the Barre, the community is encouraged to commit to an hour of dance! Throughout the fundraiser we will provide free dance videos for you to dance along to on Facebook and YouTube. Dancers of all ages (yes, we're looking at you, parents!) can then move and groove and share your joy of dance with our community. Facebook and Instagram-post your photos and videos of your very best smiles and dance skills, and don't forget to tag Columbia Dance, #raisingthebarre, and inspire your loved ones to donate. We can't wait to see you at "the barre!"
Thank you for joining us during our 24-hour fundraiser, Raising the Barre. Like our page, share on Facebook, and commit to an hour of dance! Many might argue that art is not essential, that it doesn't feed or shelter us. However, it does inspire us. It does revive us. It does feed our soul and, in that way, it is essential. It is our hope that seeing our videos today about our incredible community and the youth that it serves will bring some inspiration and soul food into your home.
We thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for your ever-continuing support.