Sequined costumes, ballet buns, colorful bouquets of flowers, and proud families. We were surrounded by all of it when we had the opportunity to volunteer at the most recent dance performance put on by Carolina Dance Collaborative, a local non-profit organization that seeks to impact every individual through movement and dance. It was two performances of non-stop adorableness, run by a couple of the most upbeat, passionate, and tireless women you’ll ever meet.
We love living in the Upstate, and we are inspired by people who dedicate their time to making it a great place to live for everyone. Two such people are Kelsey Crum and Alyson Dixon, co-founders of Carolina Dance Collaborative. Kelsey and Alyson feel strongly that dance can benefit everyone through improved self-confidence, body awareness, collaboration, and belonging; so they decided to join forces to make dance both accessible and visible in Greenville. Their dream to reach everyone through dance is reflected in the scope of their four divisions.
1. YMCA Programs
These classes are open to the public and provide affordable dance lessons at various YMCA locations in the area. Each year these classes put on a performance that is open to the public and is, as mentioned above, full-on adorable.
2. School Programs
Carolina Dance Collaborative runs after-school programs for 10-12 weeks. The instructors who run these classes have degrees in dance education, so the children are receiving quality instruction.
3. Adaptive Programs
Students six-years-old and up with disabilities can participate in the adaptive programs along with their carers. Classes are held in special education classrooms and in adult day services, and they perform before the Greenville Christmas parade. At a recent performance, the dancers were eager to share how much they loved dancing, and how many years they had been participating in the program.
4. Senior Program
Offered through OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) at Furman University, the senior program proves that it’s never too late to start dancing. Check out a performance here!
At Wetzel Services we look to support charities local to Greenville that provide service to a broad range of people. Carolina Dance Collaborative fit the bill exactly, and we were impressed when we first met Kelsey, heard about their programs, and saw her infectious enthusiasm. Each experience with her and Alyson has only reinforced that perception, and we’re pleased to be able to spread the word about the good work they’re doing for our community!