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After nearly a decade of running a small dance studio and giving scholarships when we could, we have received many moving letters, but one stands out from the others. Upon graduation from high school, a young man wrote an impactful letter highlighting the story of how our dance studio saved him from suicide.  Mentioned were a group of instructors and peers who encouraged his artistry and gave purpose to this young man inside the refuge that has been our dance family.  This is powerful. Saving this one life in the way that we did will save countless others.

Inspired to reach out to our community on a much larger scale, we are now Dayley Dance Academy NW (DDANW), a brand-new non-profit performing arts school along the Columbia River’s Gateway to the Gorge in Washougal WA.

DDANW will provide professional training and unique performance opportunities to youth and adults in our community, no matter their socio-economic backgrounds. Offering subsidized tuition, performing arts education grants, and community outreach classes will expose a broader range of students in our local area to the movement arts as an alternative to unproductive activities. We believe that this will result in the development of emerging new artists, innovative choreographers and instructors of the future.

We are continually working to provide and maintain proper studio space for our instructors and students to not only teach, learn, and cultivate safe spaces, but to create new and innovative works of art. Promoting healthy lifestyles and exposing our dancers to prestigious instructors from around the nation will give our students new vision and world perspectives that encourage growth and build character while increasing their ability to network with other artists on professional levels in the industry.

Funds raised will be used to benefit DDANW grant recipients as well as our very own Illumination Youth Dance Company for producing performances and facilitating exposure to advanced instruction and choreographers that are prominent in the performing arts community around the globe.  Additionally, funds will support our Community Outreach Dance Education Series Classes and specialty community performances and tours.

So many of our children are wandering around after school hours not knowing what to do with their free time and getting into trouble. Exposing these children to something that is lasting and positive, regardless of their financial situation, can provide a safe haven and an additional family of support.  Teaching them to set goals, work hard and be their best selves will strengthen our community and improve our society.