The Dance Stop
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Willoughby Hills, Ohio 44094
Phone: 440-585-8803
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Saramarie Dance Scholarship Fund

I see dance being used as communication between body and soul, to express what it too deep to find for words. ~Ruth St. Denis

I will never forget my first dance class. . . . It was in the basement of a school on Saturday mornings. I was 10 and recently moved to another new city. My mom saw the class advertised $10 for 6 weeks!!! The price fit and it was a way to help me adjust to a new environment. I was sold after my first jazz walk!!! It was as if I entered a new world where my troubles did not exist. Although as the winter came, I was reluctant to continue the 1.5 mile walk to dance class. We did not have a car growing up and the embarrassment of walking through the snow combined with the fear of people finding out we were poor almost caused me to quit. My mom somehow found the right words to comfort me and encourage me to follow through with what I began. Mom, I will never find the words to explain my gratitude for your strength and helping me to continue. At the end of the session my class was asked to perform in a dance recital where our teacher was performing. I sat on the stairs during dress rehearsal for hours and hours, mesmerized by every movement on stage. When my mom was finally able to drag me away I told her, "I have to do this and one day I will be able to dance with them!" My mom lovingly explained the skill and commitment involved to reach that level. My response was firm, "I have to do this so I am going to one way or another!" She knew my mind was made up, but she didn't know how she was going to afford my desire. Over the years my mom did what she could, but there came a time when she had to tell me she could no longer afford my dancing. I of course was devastated, but as children in my position do, I broken heartedly accepted the bad news. I gathered all my strength and explained the situation to my teachers. The response I was given changed my life! I needed to dance and my studio family knew that, so I was offered classes free of charge! I remember thinking that I was going to be okay even though I had no food to eat and was living without my basic needs. I could still tell my story and I was going to be safe because I had dance in my life. In many situations like mine there is no opportunity for a child to have an outlet. As a result they often find themselves involved in destructive behaviors. I am forever grateful for the opportunities I was given and being saved from the casualties of dire situations. Dance taught me strength and self discipline. These traits have allowed me to have success in my life that I do not believe I could accomplish without my training. Dance training gives so much more than proper technique, it gives children a foundation for success, regardless of the avenues they pursue in the future. I am passionate about giving others the same opportunities I was given. I know first hand the difficulties of growing up less fortunate. My desire is to help ease the pain and give an opportunity that may not be possible otherwise. I introduce to you THE SARAMARIE DANCE SCHOLARSHIP FUND to be used at THE DANCE STOP. This scholarship will be awarded to a student that has the desire and dedication to dance. I am personally donating $500 to this fund and hope to raise additional money to cover the costs of a year's dance training. I believe this scholarship can change a child's life, I know my life is forever changed because of dance!


If you would like more information please contact:
The Dance Stop at 440-585-8803
34301 Chardon Road
Willoughby Hills, OH 44094

Donations can be accepted at the above address. Please make checks payable to: The SaraMarie Dance Scholarship Fund

I don't want people who want to dance, I want people who have to dance. ~George Balanchine

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