“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,” said owner, Sarah Dayley. “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.”Dayley adds: “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.”
DDANW provides professional training and unique performance opportunities to youth and adults in our community, no matter their socio-economic backgrounds. Offering subsidized tuition, special 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. The academy believes that this will result in the development of emerging new artists, innovative choreographers and instructors of the future.
Benefits for Students and Instructors
Funds raised will be used to benefit DDANW grant recipients as well as the academy’s very own Illumination Youth Dance Company for producing performances and exposure to advanced instruction and choreographers that are prominent in the performing arts community around the globe. Funds are needed immediately to produce projects, cover immediate costs for the performance company and to admit hardship students for participation in current dance season.So many 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 addition family of support, says Dayley. Teaching them to set goals, work hard and be their best selves will strenghten our community and improve our society.