Hello my name is Jonathan Mercer and I am starting this gofundme fundraiser in order to help my student Kaia Koehler, her mother, and I get to Riesa, Germany this Winter for the IDO (International Dance Sport Organization) Tap World championships.

Now you might be asking yourself a million questions like "what are IDO Tap World Championships?" or "Why does everyone have to go?" or "Why should I donate money to you?" but don't worry. I will explain everything to you here.

So last year, my student Kaia, came to me and asked me about the possibility of submitting to the IDO Tap World Championships for her solo, and as it was something I had been thinking of exploring we decided to submit. Kaia and I went to Sacramento to compete at Headliners competition to qualify for the chance to enter for IDO. Upon receiving a top overall placement at that regional competition, she was able to submit to IDO for the possibility of representing the United States as part of team USA in Germany in the winter of 2015. Sadly Kaia did not get accepted to compete internationally that year, but that didn't stop our determination to try again this year.

Over the past year, Kaia and I have worked tirelessly to improve her technique, work on her choreography, and develop a further appreciation for Tap Dancing in conjunction with the other styles that she trains in. Kaia has made it a priority to make sure she not only trains with me in the studio but also dedicates multiple hours each week to train by herself at home. Her dedication to her craft is really paying off and has landed her a spot as part of team USA this year at the world championships.

This competition is actually a huge deal internationally, despite maybe not being very well known here. There are over 30 countries that participate, 3000+ competitors, and over 80 people that will be competing in the same category as Kaia.

Now here is where the recent events kind of leave us. A few weeks ago, we received an email congratulating Kaia as one of 3 girls in her age category to represent the USA as a female Junior Soloist. She is the only representative in her category from the west coast and one of the only people from the team that have not competed for team USA before. She and I are extremely excited for the opportunity to go. We are a little lost on what will be covered by the Team USA organization, though. We have received multiple mixed messages about how much is covered for the competitor in the way of travel expenses, lodging, food, and such; but we know that if we can raise enough money then that will not be an issue.

I am asking you for your help in helping Kaia get to Germany regardless of aid from the Organization, be it a little or a lot. The other reason for this fundraiser is to allow me to attend the competition as her coach and to have her mother join us as her guardian.

We are looking to raise $5000 USD in order to help with flight expenses (which I know for a fact we have to cover), and any other expenses that are not covered by Team USA when we arrive in Germany.

This opportunity is not only an amazing chance for myself as a choreographer and teacher who will be able to say that my work and my student has competed internationally, but also for Kaia who is an extremely hard working and caring student who deserves the opportunity to take her passion to this level.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and for donating to our goal!

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    • $50 
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    • $100 
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    • $50 
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Jonathan Mercer 
Concord, CA
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