The Second Annual Dance Studio Life “Generous Heart” Awards

The Second Annual Dance Studio Life “Generous Heart” Awards Honor Four Who Innovate, Influence, Inform, and Inspire

Last year, in celebration of 10 years of publication and devotion to the field of dance education, Dance Studio Life announced the first annual Dance Studio Life “Generous Heart” Awards. This year we have selected four individuals or organizations as recipients of this award, which builds on the attention Dance Studio Life gives to those who do important, innovative work in dance education and provide services to the dance community.

Dance Studio Life publisher Rhee Gold and the editorial staff wish to acknowledge the efforts of the risk takers and generous hearts who have earned our respect and serve as inspiration for the entire dance community. This year’s “Generous Hearts” recipients have made remarkable contributions to the field; their work reminds us that dance exerts a profoundly important and influential force in our communities and the world at large. We honor the work of these individuals and organizations:

from left, Richard Branigan, Juan Carlos Claudio, Rebecca Davis, and Joe Orrach

from left, Richard Branigan, Juan Carlos Claudio, Rebecca Davis, and Joe Orrach

Kids for Kids, Dancing for Life, Inc. (Richard Branigan, President), North Haven, Connecticut, is being honored because the organization not only supports young dancers as they pursue their art but also demonstrates how that art can be used to help others. In 20 years, Kids for Kids has donated close to $1 million to local organizations and individuals; but more important, it has inspired young dancers to go back to their studios and do what they can to contribute.

Juan Carlos Claudio, Salt Lake City, Utah, is being honored for the work he does through his teaching at the University of Utah, instilling in the next generation of dance educators a belief in the power of community engagement, volunteer service, and working toward social justice through dance.

Rebecca Davis, Astoria, New York, is being honored because of the important work she does through her company, MindLeaps, using dance to open doors to a brighter future for young people in countries that have been affected by genocide.

Joe Orrach, Berkeley, California, is being honored for his work with youth, addicts, gang interventionists, and others. His artistic, athletic, and theater skills, combined with his compassion and empathy, change the lives of people who may never before have been seen or listened to.

Dance Studio Life will run profiles of the four Dance Studio Life “Generous Heart” recipients in the July 2015 issue and will present the awards at the 2015 DanceLife Teacher Conference’s Gala Luncheon in Scottsdale, Arizona, on August 1.