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Moose Jaw Dancers Continue to Soar in Raising Funds for Creative Kids

For the last five years, the amazing youth at Moose Jaw dance studio Dance Images by BJ have been helping local kids achieve their dreams thanks to their annual dance-a-thon.

Starting in 2013, the annual Kids Helping Kids Dance-a-Thon has raised over $60,300, all of it going towards helping Moose Jaw-area kids gain access to quality dance instruction. Kids Helping Kids is a one-day fundraiser that features non-stop dancing from dancers who range from the ages of three to 18 years old.  The dancers start gathering pledge and sponsorship money in the weeks leading up to the big day. The most recent fundraiser was held on November 26, 2017.

Each year the grade 12 dancers take the helm in organizing the event, which takes months of hard work to successfully pull off. “It’s a rite of passage. It’s kind of like our little Telemircle,” says Barb Jackman, Owner, Director and Instructor at Dance Images by BJ.

Rachael Carline was one of the organizers of the 2017 event. She says, “It was a really rewarding feeling after putting in months of hard work seeing all of the kids come, all excited with their little bags of money and being really excited about the day. It really solidified what we are doing is really good and it’s worth the time and effort that we put in.”

The Kids Helping Kids Dance-a-Thon was originally the idea of former dance student Jessica Froelich, who started the fundraiser back in 2013 when she was a senior dancer at the studio. According to Froelich, who is now studying science at the University of Saskatchewan, part of the initiative was inspired by her previous experience of staying with the Massai tribe in rural Tanzania when she was younger. While staying with the tribe, she was struck how, despite their different ways of life, they were all able to communicate and celebrate life through dance.

“The arts are an inclusive and universal language,” Froelich expresses. “I had always understood dance as something technical and clear-cut. This experience really taught me how necessary dance and the arts are, both on an individual and community level. They are important for connecting with others, for expressing your feelings, and for celebrating your identity as a community and as an individual. I started to view the arts as necessities, rather than luxuries.”

"[The arts] are important for connecting with others, for expressing your feelings, and for celebrating your identity as a community and as an individual."

Froelich adds that she believes that all children and youth, regardless economic or social barriers, should have the same opportunities she had to benefit from participation in the arts. She wanted to use her passions to help others, and raising funds for Creative Kids was the perfect fit in making a difference in her community.

Carline says it also makes her feel good knowing that she and the other dancers are helping to change the lives of local youth. “It makes us feel really grateful for our own opportunities that we have been presented with in our life -- that we get the opportunity to dance at a studio,” she explains. “It’s really rewarding to see kids starting where we started and that we may have helped them accomplished all the things we accomplished as well.”

She further adds, “We are really thankful for Creative Kids for giving us a nice outlet to promote the arts, and letting us donate to every yea. We are fortunate as to how kind and helpful you’ve been throughout our fundraising, so thank-you!”