Dance Relief, a Dancers Inc. event, is held each season, as an opener for the dance competition year. Dancers from several states come together to not only compete for cash, prizes, and scholarships, but to help other children and dancers in need. The event was held December 5 & 6 at Pleasantville High School in Pleasantville, New Jersey.
Dance Relief was created by Dan Barris, and the crew at Dancers Inc. immediately following Hurricane Katrina in 2005. "It was a way for all of us to help, and do what we do best......dance," Dan says. Within hours of the storm, people were banding together in New Jersey and New York to help raise money for the dancers, studios, and families of the Gulf Coast. Especially those hardest hit in Louisiana. After raising over $50,000.00 in just a few hours with cash, and donations, Dancers Inc. went to New Orleans and donated the goods and services of the crew, and purchased costumes for dancers, and sound equipment and other goods for studios and teachers throughout the area.
When the crew returned, they vowed to have the opening event for each new dance competition season be for a worthy cause, and have since helped three more organizations. The crew is excited to say that Dance Relief has contributed at least $5,000.00 to worthy causes with each event, and this year along with Envision Environmental it raised about $9,000.00 for DebRA.
This year's event was very special to us since one of our dancers, Alexandra Roman, has Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). Although dancing at times is quite painful for Alex, her love for dance, along with the support of her dance family at Ocean Dance Force in NJ helps her realize her passion. We realize every step that Alex takes requires a lot of courage and strength. We hope our efforts at this year's event will help more people understand EB and the difficulties that Alex and other children like her deal with on a daily basis. Due to the efforts of Dance Relief, Envision Environmental, Inc. and M&I Dancewear, as sponsors and hosts, several of the cast and crew working the event volunteered, and donated their time and monies raised to this worthwhile cause. In addition, Envision Environmental, Inc. hosted an information table on DebRA, which included materials on EB, how people can help, and fundraising items. DebRA sponsored videos were also shown during the event.
"We can't wait to write a big check to Debra , it's a great way to have the kids learn, and give a little something of themselves at the Holidays. It is a valuable lesson for all of us, don't you think?"
DebRA wants to thank everyone involved in this event especially the Roman Family and Dance Relief who dedicated this year's events to DebRA. We'd also like to thank all of the dancers, parents, volunteers and all of those who made this event such a success.