Excitement builds as we get closer to the end of the year. The holidays are a time to gather and rejoice with friends and family while reflecting on the events of the past year. It’s also a time for giving! Many anticipate gifts under the tree and the delight they see in a loved one’s face when they uncover a present of particular thoughtfulness.
Gifts of time and support are also appreciated through the holidays as many of us are reminded just how blessed we are. Donations and volunteer hours are gifts that many non-profit groups could not operate without. They are also a huge part of our Fred Astaire Dance Studio philosophy. Studios across the country spend hours donating their time and raising thousands of dollars for charities that are in desperate need. So, in the spirit of the season, we take the time to look back on a few of these special events and the wonderful organizations that benefitted from them.
THE LONGEST DAY
By now we all know the benefits associated with dancing in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Rochester wanted to spread this knowledge through The Longest Day, a nationwide event sponsored by the Alzheimer’s Association. In an effort to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s disease, the studio offered free classes all day long for people making a donation to the Rochester Alzheimer’s Association. Afterwards, they hosted an Open House Event with free dance classes, refreshments, and discounted enrollment options.
DANCING WITH OUR HEROES
Fred Astaire Dance Studio franchisees around the country have been hosting Dancing with our Heroes events since 2012. This year, FADS of San Antonio partnered with local military heroes to raise thousands of dollars for the Fisher House Foundation and Grace After Fire. The evening included general dancing, a sit-down dinner and a professional show. The highlight was the competition between the professional dance instructors from FADS who were partnered with military heroes. The Fisher House Foundation builds and maintains long-term residential facilities near military hospitals nationwide. Grace After Fire is dedicated to helping female veterans reenter their communities and the workforce after service.
INAUGURAL GROW INTO YOU FOUNDATION MASQUERADE BALL
Tampa, Florida, teen Michael Threatt is an extraordinary young man. He entered the foster care system (along with his brother) when he was only four years old. After years of being shuffled around the system, Michael is as determined to succeed individually as he is determined to help other teens find success. He became involved in the Grow into You Foundation and participates in their coaching program. Michael says the foundation taught him to change his perspective, learn to deal with people in a good way and handle his emotions.
The Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Brandon, Florida, decided to team up with the foundation for their first ever Grow into You Foundation Masquerade Ball! The night featured group instruction and professional performances from the FADS team, as well as open dancing and a special performance by Michael and other foster teens from the area.
ALZHEIMER’S AWARENESS DANCE-A-THON
In honor of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, the professional dancers from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Park Ridge decided to fill up their dance cards for a good cause. The studio participated in an Alzheimer’s Awareness Dance-a-Thon to help raise money and awareness of the disease. The dancers thought of it as more of a “teach-a-thon” as they offered lessons on Foxtrot, Swing, and Rumba for every donation of $75 or more to the local Alzheimer’s Association chapter.
TURKEY TANGO PARTY
All dancers like to shake their tail feathers. Why not do it for a good cause? That’s exactly what the dancers at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Smithtown did during their Turkey Tango Party. The idea was simple, but effective; simply drop off three non-perishable food items at the studio, and you’ve earned admission to the party. The studio also provided group classes featuring the Hustle, Salsa, and of course, the Tango. Participants also received a complimentary private lesson. All the food went to the Smithtown Emergency Food Pantry.
Fred Astaire Dance Studios are just as committed to serving the needs of their communities as they are committed to helping their friends and neighbors lead happy, healthier lives. Congratulations to all our studios, and best wishes for a toe-tapping year ahead!