"DanceAbility" program raises money for local ballerinas

11 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago Thursday, August 24 2017 Aug 24, 2017 Thursday, August 24, 2017 6:40:00 PM CDT August 24, 2017 in News
By: Gabrielle Hays, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA -Ballerinas are all set to twirl at Logboat Brewing Company on Friday, and for a good cause.

Missouri Contemporary Ballet is set to hold a fundraiser on Friday to raise money for its DanceAbility program. The program aims to give dancers with special needs the opportunity to express themselves and learn about the world of dance.

"It really gets me emotional because when we hold events and the community gets to see how happy ballet makes our dancers, it really makes me feel good," said Jennifer Highbarger, coordinator for the program.

The fundraiser includes a silent auction for donated artwork from local artists, and attendees have the opportunity to buy DanceAbility T-shirts. 

"We want our dancers to feel like they are doing just that, taking ballet. These are real classes and the dancers are learning basic ballet," said Highbarger.

Caitlin Sloan is the school director at the School of Missouri Contemporary Ballet. She said the program has about 30 dancers and has been around since spring 2014. 

Grill-A-Brothers food truck will also be at Logboat, selling food. The owners of the truck said they will donate all of their tips to the fundraiser.

All proceeds made from the event including the artwork, shirts, food and a dollar from each beer sold are going towards covering costs for students who are enrolled in the program.

Highbarger also said she looks forward to more students joining the program and learning ballet.

"I just want people  to be aware and I think more and more people are becoming aware of it and really excited about it especially when they go to a performance, they can see the pride on the kids' faces."

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