Harmony Rebeiro wants to make sure that her competition dancers appreciate the opportunities they have.
The Dance and Cheer Stars owner – a former Raiderette who wanted to share her love of dance by opening a local studio – realizes that the girls that get the opportunities to travel and face off against other highly trained dancers already have a leg up on those who aspire one day to be in their shoes.
So when they held a Dance-A-Thon a couple of months back, Rebeiro made sure that at least $10 from each of the girls went into a special fund that was donated to Give Every Child a Chance – an organization that has a soft spot in her heart.
While the money will help go towards funding programs, it’s the laying of the framework that allows for the real charity work to begin – bringing hip-hop-flavored dance lessons into GECAC after-school programs that both teach dance to children and provide exercise at the same time.
“They’re our non-profit of choice because they’ve always supported the arts,” Rebeiro said. “There are so many parents out there that commute and get home late and other parents that are struggling, so by doing this we’re able to show our competition kids that they’re lucky – that not everybody lives in a household that can afford this.
“Hopefully when they realize that, it gives them more of a reason to go out of their way to lend a hand and makes them think about what they have.”
And it doesn’t stop with small donations and after-school aerobic dance.
With the group’s annual holiday boutique coming up later this month, the proceeds from the raffle – every vendor is required to bring something that will be raffled off – will go to GECAC. Even the new Lodi studio that opened up downtown in January will be participating when they hold their boutique the week before.
“It’s great to have this kind of support from any business in the community, and Harmony has always gone out of her way to support us,” said GECAC Executive Director Carol Davis. “We look forward to them coming out to our sites and we’re grateful for any donations that they make. During these tough times everything helps, and it’s great to be able to watch the kids learning these dance moves. They don’t know that they’re actually exercising – they think they’re just having fun.”
The Dance and Cheer Stars Holiday Boutique will be held on Saturday, April 21, and Sunday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at their Spreckels Park studio – located at 1240 Dupont Court. For additional information call (209) 456-7373. The event will be held at the Lodi studio – located at 167 Commerce Street No. 101 – on April 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.