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Youth Dance Alliance

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Oh the places you'll go!
-Dr. Seuss

I really don't know how this happened.

I was never the best dancer in my studio.

But I know I always loved to dance; in my house, at the beach, and down the aisles of my local supermarket.

I know this is why I am here on this planet.  I am so grateful for my dance training and recognize that dance has completely changed my life. For that reason, I feel I have a responsibility to pay my knowledge and talent forward.

I know good fortune, hard work and determination blessed me with multiple opportunities to pursue dance in various capacities.

Good fortune:
Winning the Youth Soroptimist Achievement Award afforded me funds to initially start Youth Dance Alliance in my senior year of high school at the Long Island High School for the Arts.

Hard work and determination:
Traveling well off the beaten path gave me the opportunity to teach dance to young people and adults all over the world, most recently in Asia.

Now, my passion for dance is bringing me to Africa!

My goal is to teach the local children of Dakar, Senegal, Africa that it's OKAY to dream BIG.  REALLY BIG!

With $20,000, Youth Dance Alliance would have enough money to sponsor the arts education of 20 local children in Dakar.

Specifically, Youth Dance Alliance would have enough to provide:

year-long dance instruction in a purpose-built facility,
dance clothing and shoes,
nutritious after school snacks/meal,
a safe place to do their homework,
an opportunity to collaborate with other young people,
an opportunity to develop skills to use dance as a vehicle for social change and economic development in their community.

Most ideally, I'd like to help children from Dakar get to Broadway!

Inside every child is a spark.

I am eternally grateful for any help you can provide to support the arts and dance education of the children of Dakar. Let's help them find their spark!

P.S. If you donate $15 or more to this campaign, Youth Dance Alliance will send you a personalized postcard from Dakar.  We will also read your name live at our first Dance Gala.  When donating, please include your contact information.



Teaching style, classmates and overall environment.

My favorite thing is the process of learning new choreography and performing it at the end.

Getting to learn different styles of dance and interesting choreography.

Being able to dance in the middle of the school day.  It is like a break from the stresses of schoolwork with physical work.

I like learning new things and testing out new choreography. This helps me improve in many activities.

Learning new dance skills and jamming out to music.

I like that I am with my friends and we get to stretch a lot.

We get to dance and have fun with it.

Even though not everybody is a perfect dancer, we try our best and we encourage each other to try our best!

All the different dances we've learned.

When all of us are doing a dance and we're all in sync.

Getting to learn different types of dance from all over the world.

My favorite thing about this class is the diversity in the types of dance.

Just the fact that I can get in shape and be more flexible. Doing ballet helps to correct my posture, and I love dancing in general.

Working on the modern combos is always my favorite part of the class. It is more fun than the structured ballet and easier to get into the music.

I really enjoy learning new dance moves and seeing how our dances (especially modern) come together. I have also loved realizing that my body can flow with the music and with a dance I can convey lots of emotions and ideas.

My favorite thing about this class is having the opportunity to dance IN school.

Our modern dance, "The best of you".

The fun dances we get to learn.


I am more creative and can express myself better.

When I hear a song, I just start matter where I am and who I am with...

I've learned to appreciate different styles of dance.

Dancing has given me something to do in my free time. But now that I am dancing more often, I do it all the time at home and my family thinks I am crazy. They didn't understand why I was hitting the floor when I was practicing the African dance.

It has improved my flexibility, my balance, for me to be more open to new things, and to learn that it is much better to try hard and make a huge mistake rather than to be shy and not try at all.

It has changed my view on how different people and different cultures dance. For example, Kay's K-pop moves are way different than my American moves. Also, now I know random fancy French dance words/expressions that sound funny.

I have better balance and my leaps have become better.

I have more balance, and also I can count beats better.

Dancing has made me more brave, now I actually dance sometimes in front of my friends because I think it looks nice/cool. I also widened my interest in the types of dancing, at first I didn't like ballet much, but after learning, I like leaping, it's fun!

It has helped me see dancers as not just a talent they were born with, but something they worked hard to get.

Now I know how to dance to different songs.  Also I learned different dances from different cultures.

It has opened me up to more styles of dance. To really see the differences between the types.

Dancing has changed how I see different basic movements in life and taking a different look at things I can create with art and music.

I love how dancing expresses emotions, it shows the emotions through actions. Dancing isn't always like ballet, stiff and proper, it can be like modern, and contemporary.  It can be creative, show emotions, and lets you think outside of the box.

I am more aware of the way I move my body and now when I view a professional dance I think about the meaning more than I think about the way it looks.

Dance has helped me to get more physically fit and to see how dance can convey emotions and stories. After being in this class and in Phoenix Dancers, sometimes I will be listening to a piece of music and have dances going through my head that I've never seen before. I'm never able to remember it afterwards, but its really cool when its happening.

I can hear underlying accented beats in music better because now I'm not always dancing on the exact beats of 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 and 8.

Dancing allows me to be more confident.

I learned that there is more to dance than just moving, there's emotion in it.


Laura Beth
New York, NY

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