"Our mission is to empower deserving youth with strong leadership and social skills through technical dance training that builds self-confidence and minimizes obesity."
Fundraiser on January 24th Will Raise Money for 'No Dancer Left Behind,' a Scholarship Program That Teaches Student Dancing and Life Lessons.
No Dancer Left Behind, Inc. (NDLB) will hold its first-ever fundraiser recital, "Love is In the Air," on Saturday, January 24, 2015, at 3 p.m. at the African Cultural Research Library, 2650 Sistrunk Blvd., Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. The three-year-old nonprofit organization provides free dance lessons to disadvantaged children ages 6 to 19 at the Diversity Dance Center in Sunrise, Florida. Since 2012, the NDLB program has given out $10,000 in scholarships, but much more in life skills. Beyond a solid dance education, the program helps students overcome the many possible obstacles they can face outside of the dance school, such as bullying, gang violence and teen pregnancy.
Founded by Artistic Director/Choreographer Terrica Maura and her mother Cassie Maura-Rahming, Assistant Director, NDLB goes well beyond dance instruction to shape participants into self-confident, poised performers and citizens.
NDLB provides full scholarships to qualified disadvantaged youth of all genders and ethnicities, as well as those with special disabilities such as autism and mental challenges. The commonality is their passion for dance and inability to finance lessons on their own. NDLB teaches them an array of dance styles such as: ballet, jazz, lyrical, modern, hip hop, tap, liturgical, African and more. All experience levels are welcome. The most talented train and participate in competitions and charitable and local events under the name "Fierce Creationz."
"Our mission is to empower deserving youth with strong leadership and social skills through technical dance training that builds self-confidence and minimizes obesity. While using dance as our platform, we also encourage good eating habits by offering healthy snacks and literature for parents to take home to assist in preparing healthy foods to fight childhood obesity." Good hygiene is also encouraged. Participants receive mini gifts throughout the year for maintaining these important body care necessities.
"Our program and dance style are unique. I have never seen anything like them in Florida. Our choreography is physically demanding as well as artistic. The intensity of our dance training prepares our youth for college level dancing."
The founders hope to raise $75,000 at the January 24th "Love is In the Air" recital. Money raised will be used to expand the NDLB scholarships program and to purchase a van to transport students to special events.
Additionally, donations are sought for costumes, props and equipment. The event will showcase the various dance styles offered and the different levels of dance training from beginners to advanced dancers.
In the words of Artistic Director-Choreographer Terrica Maura, who has trained and danced professionally: "Many of our students were afraid to dance in front of their peers. The positive reinforcement of training with me and our other instructors enhances their self-image. These kids start to act like professional rock stars on stage. It's beautiful to see the transformation."
The community-based organization began in May 2012 in the City of Sunrise, Florida. Terrica Maura and her mother Cassie were inspired by the many children visiting the Diversity Dance Center wanting to take classes but whose parents did not have the financial means to pay tuition. "Eventually, we started spreading the word that a limited number of scholarships were available to those who can prove their hardship. We chose the City of Sunrise because of its high proportion of single, low-income parents. With so many growing families nearby, we felt this ethnically diverse community had great potential to produce some incredible dancers. We only wish we could take on more students," concludes Terrica Maura.
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