After a long year, and unfathomable amounts of hard work, our students and teachers successfully ended the season with a bang. May 30th was a very hectic day for many of us here at Leap of Joy. Between getting the last details together for Care to Dance and organizing transportation for all of our students to get to the Carver Museum, our team had a lot to do. Somehow these magical unicorns for human beings pulled it off, and between sound checks and dress rehearsals we were off, beginning the show at 7:15. One of our students Anthony Hernandez (Hart Elementary, see photo above) doubled his performances for the event, serving as the MC for the whole show while also performing in the final piece he helped put together with his class. Anthony was wonderful onstage, a comedian and performer in the making as he delivered his jokes and transitioned the show seamlessly. We were so lucky to have the budding star host our show.

 

     Our students were treated to pizza for dinner courtesy of the wonderful team at Austin’s Pizza. Although it’s not as healthy as we usually serve our snacks, everyone deserves a delicious treat once in awhile. In addition to pizza the students were also fueled by vegetables and fruits for their performance. Upstairs in the parent/attendee area we had a VIP reception that included delicious snacks and appetizers provided by Stubbs BBQ, The Goodnight, Black Sheep Lodge, and Alanna Burney Catering. We also had a short wine happy hour as the guests awaited the performance. 

 

     Many of our students were fairly nervous at the idea of performing for over 100 (!!!) people, some of them performing for the first time. You would never know it the way they carried themselves on stage, loving the stage lights and being carried alonf by the eruption of applause from the audience after each performance. It was dreamlike watching these students perform their work, in some cases things they had been working on for the entirety of the school year. Some highlights (for those of you who were unable to attend) include: One of our teachers Mr. James (Houston Ballet Co*) danced a contemporary piece with one of his students. She had had many obstacles to overcome, and was rewarded with confidence, self esteem, and the hearts of the audience as they performed together. We are so proud to have such a wonderful student in our program. Additionally our Hip-Hop groups were definitely a crowd favorite. Using modern Hip-Hop moves combined with things like break dancing and contemporary dance, our students lit up the stage. Our theater group performed wonderfully as always, ending the program with a fifteen minute one act play featuring music and dance moves from Saturday Night Fever and Hairspray. Our MC was a lead in the play in addition to hosting the whole show.

 

     In addition to being a performance showcase, Care to Dance also serves as a fundraiser for our non-profit group. Though we focus mostly on the showcase, we are also so grateful to those who donated their time, goods, or funds to us. This year we held a raffle in addition to the silent auction  as a way to help pay for parent tickets to the show and fund future classes for the students. We had amazing raffle prizes from places like Uchi, C3 events, and even a donation from our founder Judy for a stay in her personal beach condo. It was incredibly uplifting to receive the donations and support that we did this year. For a list of businesses and organizations that donated please scroll to the bottom of the post.

 

     Our next fundraiser coming up will be taking place Sunday July 13th, at Red 7 at 7th and Red River. There will be bands and a small raffle. A complete list of bands, prizes, times, and admission prices will be posted on our Facebook page. For more information regarding this and future events please check back with our blog, our Facebook page, or our Twitter. With any specific questions please feel free to contact daniellehoutkooper@leapofjoy.org or scarpenter@leapofjoy.org. Look for pictures from Care to Dance both here and our Facebook page.

 

*Correction, an earlier version of this post stated that one of our instructors was part of the New York Ballet Co. He was actually a part of the Houston Ballet Co.

 

Donations and Sponsors for Care to Dance 2014:

Austin’s Pizza, Black Sheep Lodge, Stubb’s BBQ, C3 PRESENTS, Travassa, COTA, Steve and Judy Richardson, Uchi, Bird’s Barber Shop, Beth M., Lillian Bloom, Linger Bath & Body, Terra Toys, Amy’s Ice Cream, Go Dance Studio, Hat Creek Burgers, Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas, Balance Dance Studio, Ester’s Follies Hopdoddu, Thinkery, Juiceland, Austin Java, Brass Ovaries, Tapestry Dance, Eastside Cafe, P.Terry’s, Maudies Tex-Mex, Grins Restaurant, Natural Grocers, Bradz Salon, Magnolia Cafe, SNAP kitchen, Phil’s Ice House, Breed & Co, The People’s Pharmacy.

 

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