Monday, March 8, 2010

Excitedly announcing... my new project

For the past few months, I’ve had several people ask me if I’ll miss tap dancing. The first time, it just confused me, but after it happened a few times, I really wondered if people thought I just learned to tap dance for the purpose of pageants. Quite the opposite- I’ve been dancing as long as I’ve had energy to burn (since age 3) and I plan to continue doing it throughout my life.

Tap dancing is a family tradition for me- my grandmother and great uncle were great tap dancers and teachers. I treasure my collection of my grandmothers taps and carrying on something special to me and my family. I’ve always known I would continue with lessons and now teaching others.

The past few months, I’ve been laying the groundwork for a new project to start when I live in Maryland. I’m excited to partner with Madeline’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping inner city youth and their families by providing positive outlets for them. I’ll be helping out next year by teaching tap! I have wanted to do this for so long and was just looking for the perfect connection to work out this project, and this foundation is the perfect fit!

Here’s where I need everyone’s help: I’m applying for a series of grants including $5,000 from Pepsi to launch this off the ground. I’m also applying for another grant from an organization I received a scholarship from as a college freshman. $5,000 would really lift this project off the ground. I’ll use it to buy 2 portable ballet bars, music, and hopefully as many pairs of tap shoes (and other dance shoes to help the entire program) and money to give to special dancers to come teach for a week and inspire the kids. The kids can then just come to dance lessons and borrow shoes from my collection every week and not have to worry about the expense! Pepsi this year is giving hundreds of thousands of dollars away in grants, and the top ten grants requesting $5,000 will get the grant! I need people to vote. You can vote everyday by simply signing up through your email. My link will be available at the beginning of April.

Even if I don't win the grants, I will still go forward with this project, so I hope anyone interested helps me out! I have my fingers crossed that with your help, my idea can be in the top ten. We can really make a cool after school program come to life- and at completely no cost to these kids!

We all know that in these difficult times often comes the cutting of many arts programs. Last year the dance studio I practiced at after school was canceling their dance program due to funding. Many people who live in bigger cities can’t afford after school activities and they definitely can’t afford dance tuition, leotards, and shoes! So this is an easy way to vote and give as many kids as I can handle the chance to learn one of my favorite things! I’ll post links when it gets closer, I’m counting on everyone I know to help make this a reality!

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