On My Mind | Making the world a better place

Words from the publisher

This issue of Dance Studio Life is special for me because we feature proof that dance is not just about the steps that we teach, but about a community passionate about doing good as it passes on one of the oldest art forms known to humankind.

Photo by Mim Adkins

Our stories are about educators and others who use their gift of dance to make the world a better place, and all are making a huge difference. I’ve had several opportunities to be a part of the Industry Dance Awards (IDA), and each experience was eye-opening and inspiring. Sure, the event is an elaborate show that recognizes the success of some of the biggest names in the dance field, but that’s just part of it.

This August, I spent an afternoon at a pre-IDA show luncheon where I witnessed dancers tell stories about how they had been helped by Dancers Against Cancer (DAC), one of IDA’s charity partners, which has raised more than $1 million to support those in the dance community who are suffering from cancer.

Just realizing the number of young people affected by the disease is enough to melt your heart, but here are two organizations—IDA and DAC—that truly help to make miracles happen. One story that stands out in my mind is of a young woman who had already been through two bouts with cancer and was about to begin her third. The only treatment available to her was an experimental one. Apparently her family was going to use retirement savings to pay for the pricy treatment. As she spoke, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.

Within minutes, the dancer’s world turned around for the better. She was presented with a check and a promise to cover the entire cost of the treatment! Chills shivered through my entire body as I witnessed the joy on the dancer’s face and realized that her family was not going to have to make such a huge sacrifice to assure the treatment their loved one needed to live. That’s just one of the stories about those who have been touched by the efforts of the IDA and DAC.

I hope this issue will inspire you to use your gift of dance to make a difference in your community. Let us all appreciate the power we have to make our world a better place.