Give Children in Need a Chance to Dance

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January 23, 2015 by Nicole

In order to sustain and expand its efforts to bring dance to more children, The Dance Happy Project will host its first fundraiser on Monday, February 9, 2015. The evening combines a silent art auction and a dance concert featuring professional artists, including Dario J. Moore, Coby Project, Mary Love, David Gabriel Afro-Latin Dance Project, Dawn Branch Works, Yow Dance and more. Moira from the Philips Phile at Real Radio 104.1 FM will emcee the event and all proceeds will go toward the Dance Happy Project.

The silent auction includes more than fifty unique works, including costume designs from Broadway’s Wicked and Newsies, The Washington Ballet’s Alice, along with original and limited edition prints from children’s book illustrators, including Brian Floca, winner of the 2014 Randolph Caldecott Medal. There are also art works donated to the auction by Charles Gatewood and Taman VanScoy, past winners of the Winter Park Art Festival’s Best in Show. Pieces available for auction can be viewed here.

The Dance Happy Project was founded by twelve-year-old Georgia Bernbaum, in partnership with The Center for Contemporary Dance (CCD), after being inspired by her own experiences at CCD. She aims to expand access to the benefits of dance by bringing quality dance education experiences to children in need, starting with the provisioning of ongoing dance classes for children living at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida. These classes are funded by the Project and led by CCD Artistic Director Dario J. Moore.

Twelve-year-old Georgia Bernbaum is the founder of The Dance Happy Project.

With February’s fundraiser, Bernbaum hopes to raise enough money to continue quarterly classes at the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida for the next three years so that her Dance Happy Project will be eligible for larger grant funding.

“I want this project to grow to include other underserved children in Orlando and for it to continue even once I enter college,” says Bernbaum, “This is why I partnered with The Center for Contemporary Dance. I know that they believe in the value of making dance available to everyone!”

“This is an important project for reasons that extend beyond the technical aspects of dance education,” says Moore, who has been working closely with Bernbaum to help launch The Dance Happy Project.  “Dance is a unique art form in that it teaches young people, quite literally, how to take control of their movement through time and space. Soon they learn to make the connection that they can choose to succumb to challenging circumstances or they can consciously discover ways to rise above seemingly impossible situations.”

Moore and Bernbaum agree that it is for this reason and more that access to dance education is critical for children facing difficult experiences.

“The most powerful part of The Dance Happy Project,” Moore explains, “is that it provides kids with hands-on practice in choice-making and actively teaches them how to take control of their destiny.”

Monday, February 9, 2015
Doors open at 5:45 p.m.
Performances begin at 6:30 p.m.
Silent bidding ends at 7:45 p.m.
The Margeson Theater at the John & Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center
812 East Rollins Street
Orlando, FL  32803
$10 general admission; $15 reserved seating
Call (407) 695-8366 or purchase tickets online.


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