Dance Magic has never just been a dance studio. Even back when we were just a dance studio, we still weren’t just a dance studio. Have I lost you? Thought so. Here is what I mean.
It’s like this. You know how they say there is more than one way to crack a nut? You can pry and pick at it ever so slowly with a special little nut tool that you picked up from the special little nut tool store. OR you can just smash it with a hammer. The result in the end is the same. This incredible little morsel emerges and usually it doesn’t even resemble the shell it was once in at all. It’s somehow more refined, maybe a little sweet or a little salty, and packs a total nutritional punch. Stay with me here.
As adults who care for children and as a community who recognizes that the our youth are literally inheriting our world, I think we are all just trying to support kids in becoming the best versions of themselves that they can become. There are lots of ways of doing this and children need all sorts of different influences to shape them and help them break out of their shells. At Dance Magic, teaching our students dance, or music, or in the classroom of our preschool is definitely at the root of what we do. It is the “prying and picking ever so slowly with a special little nut tool” part. It is possibly that these specific lessons themselves might be enough to influence some of our young people to shed any insecurities or reservations they may have of truly blossoming and revealing their best selves. However, we also find that the “smashing with a hammer” method to be effective as well. No one ever remembers the details of the prying and the picking. It might end in the same result, but it isn’t nearly as much fun. The prying and the picking isn’t the stuff we call our friends about and replay in our minds over and over.
We teach children chords and pirouettes and their ABC’s. But, that is just one journey that we offer our students. What we really hold especially close to our hearts is that we also offer our students lessons of responsibility, and respect, and empathy, and of the power of kindness, and how to be role models for their peers, and to stand by the underdog, and about the courage to be themselves, and that a little love goes a long way, and that small changes make a big difference. This is why we will never just be a dance studio. We know that kids learn when they have extraordinary amounts of fun, and when they are moved to tears, and when the are inspired by kids just like them. That is why in addition to the day to day learning opportunities, we also strive to create additional opportunities for our students to learn, belong, grow, and reveal themselves as the sweet, salty, refined, little nuts that they are (pun intended).
As we reminisce on the past 30 years, let’s look back at the few of the totally memorable, hammer smash type events that we have held and that have served to shape our youth into the caring, community minded, confident young people that they are.
Zumbathon for MS
We hosted two Zumbathons in support of Multiple Sclerosis. This event took place over 4 hours and teams donned their most creative matching outfits and costumes and took to the dance floor. We saw all ages push themselves and each other to boogie hard to honor the all the fundraisers who supported them. Our Dance Magic community raised more than $50,000 for the MS Society Alberta Chapter over the course of the two years Zumbathon”ing”.
If you thought dancing in a goofy get up with 4 hours with your closest friends is fun, how about this next event we put on? We flew celebrity guest artist Chris Jones in from LA to teach masterclasses and take part in leading us through 10 HOURS of dancing, learning, and playing in support of the Canadian Cancer Society and for Jumpstart Charities. Our incredible kiddos raised $1400 and $1800 respectively for those important charities.
Flash Mob with 250 people at the Rebels Game
This next one goes down as a favourite memory for many. We secretly gathered with more than 250 of our dance families, community members and students to prepare and perform a FLASH MOB for the Rebels Game. Dancers took to the stage in the audience, concession aisles and on the ice during intermission. The children and adults alike were over the moon to perform together at such a public event.
100 Kids Who Care Red Deer
This next event is modelled off of the well known 100 Women and 100 Men Who Care groups. These events are never short of fun and laughter. The children typically are having so much fun that they often don’t even realize that they actually are learning how to be strong, confident leaders in their communities. In the last 2.5 years we have connected with more than 250 members and the participants are given the opportunity to make an impact in their community by coming together as a team, recognizing their voice has value and believing in the positive impact they can make in their community. 100 Kids aims to inspire the next generation of philanthropists by providing a forum to help and contribute to local charities. 100 Kids has raised more than $6000 for local charities.
Daddy Daughter Dance Fundraiser
Another favourite of children and adults alike is the Daddy Daughter Dance. This year will mark the 5th annual DDD Fundraiser in support of our Give the Magic Scholarship Program. This program is designed to provide financial assistance to families in need so all children can afford the joys and gifts of a dance or music education from our school. Our students and their dad’s dress up in their finest and spend the nightdancing, playing, eating, and basking in the beauty of the event. No detail is spared and the event is truly unlike any other. The fundraiser has provided support for nearly 250 families and continues to grow annually.
So there you have it. Just a few examples of ways that we have aimed to round out the education of our students. Becoming a well rounded child, teenager, and eventually adult isn’t just about having a perfect technique at the barre, for example. Yes, the lessons in the classrooms are of great value and they shape your children, no doubt. But, by taking advantage of even some of the other opportunities we offer, students are given a chance to really flourish as incredible people that we all KNOW they are.