Disclosure: This is an unsponsored post. RNYM and ONYM are now proud to be media sponsors for the local March of Dimes Walk and will be featuring local businesses and people who are involved in #givingback.
Article by: Jamie Flesher
Photo Credit: Weslee Lorico
Turning dancing into activism, the Rockland All-Star Dance Team presented by Vicki’s Dance Studio seeks to dance their way to helping all babies get the best start possible. If you have never met the 6 members of the elite Rockland All-Star Dance Team you are in for a real treat. Led by captain Miranda Linehan and co-captain Hanna Rusnock, these 6 talented dancers are throwing their hearts, minds and bodies into prematurity awareness in the Lower Hudson Valley Community.
On April 24th the March of Dimes will host its annual March for Babies Walk-a-thon at Lake Welch. This event is the Lower Hudson Valley’s largest walk event with a crowd of over 1,500 families, businesses, and volunteers. When asked by the March of Dimes to be the featured stage performance of the event, the All-Star Dance Team didn’t hesitate for one second to rise to the occasion. Not only will the team be putting on a spectacular performance for the crowd ( I saw it… we are talking splits in the air, perfectly in-sync footwork amazing), but they have also banded together with studio owner Vicki Giannetti to raise thousands of dollars for prematurity research.
What drives them you may wonder? It’s all about support for each other, a love for their craft, and a call to use their talents and years of hard work to impact the world in the right ways. And believe me, this world of heart comes through in their dancing and seems to be the general ora of the studio.
They are not just training dancers at Vicki’s Dance Studio. They are teaching all of their students, from ages 2 to 18, what it means to be part of a larger community and family, to value support and encouragement of each other, and to be proud of who they are as their authentic selves. There is a life lesson in everything they do at Vicki’s Dance Studio and I was privileged enough to get to spend an evening there watching them work, interviewing the all-star team, and of course getting a front row performance!
From their classically trained movements, to their effortless splits in sync, it would be hard to pick a favorite moment of their routine. And right now they are working harder than ever to take the stage for all of us to see at the March for Babies walk on April 24th. Full interviews can be read HERE (see end of article) but the resounding theme heard from all 6 dancers is that the best part about all of this is that they are going to be spending the day dancing with their best friends for a great cause.
What I found most impressive about these young women was their own drive to activism. The Rockland All-Star Dance Team earned the featured performance spot due to their dance talent. However, they came up with the idea to raise the funds in addition to their dancing all on their own! Now, they have a whole community ready to join in for “#DancingforBabies”!
To join the team Dancing for Babies and walk with members of Vicki’s Dance Studio please email Vicki Giannetti at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (845) 634 – 2202. Anyone can join the fun. No need to be a studio member or dancer!
To learn more about Vicki’s Dance Studio and classes offered visit their website at http://www.vickistudio.com/
To make a secure donation to team Dancing for Babies and help the Rockland All-Star Dance team reach their goal click here https://www.marchforbabies.org/dancingforbabies
Awestruck by not only their talent but their activism I couldn’t help but ask these young women to tell me why March of Dimes and March for Babies is so important to them. And furthermore, how do they feel about being in front of such a large crowd? Below are their answers and what a fun time I had getting to know them!
Captain Miranda: March of Dimes is important to me because I love working with all of the young studio children. March of Dimes is saving babies. It is such an honor to me to be able to help these babies with my dancing. As for being up on stage, I am looking forward to that audience and working together to raise money.
Co- Captain Hanna: I am the oldest cousin in my family so all my life I have loved working with kids. I have also been dancing all of my life so this is a perfect way to put the two together. It’s an amazing opportunity to perform for this crowd. I am a little nervous but mostly I am just excited to help.
Shir– All of my family including my young cousins live overseas. I don’t see them often which makes me even more thankful that they are healthy and I can watch them grow up that way. March of Dimes is a part of why they were all born healthy. I would say I was nervous but I am going to be up there dancing with my best friends and there is no place I would rather be.
Spencer – There are a lot of younger kids that are part of our studio family and I spend a lot of time helping them with their dancing. I love seeing them grow and getting to be part of that. March of Dimes is saving lives of children who may one day be dancers. Being on stage to help them with whatever I personally can help with is exciting. And I’m proud to do it with my other team dancers.
Kate – March of Dimes is definitely a charity that is important to me. One of my best friends was born at 30 weeks and so was my cousin so their research is what led to these people being healthy today. I love to dance. I love to help people when I can. If anyone does get nervous we have our friends to lean on. But I am so excited for this experience to work with this crowd to raise funds.
Adriana – I am very excited to be on stage at this event but mostly I am excited to help March of Dimes. One of my biggest role models had a very premature baby and it was scary. In fact, I know a few people who were born prematurely and thanks to March of Dimes they are now healthy and happy. This just seems like the least I can do to give back.