The story of how Arthur Murray Chatham and Roxbury raised $4000.00 for charity in two hours began at a weekly monday meeting at Chatham studio, near the end of 2014. With Danny and Jen at the helm of the newly reborn Chatham location, and coming off a really successful year of dancing, we were eager to prove that our students could meet the challenge of donating to an awesome charity through their art.
We discussed for hours how we would organize it. What came out of that was the first annual St. Jude’s Dance-a-Thon. Students could buy dances with their instructors at an extended practice party, and each dance would require a minimum donation. We left slots open just in case anyone was generous enough on the day of.
It didn’t exactly go as planned. As it turns out, when you give students the opportunity to dance as many times as they like with as many teachers as they please, they really go crazy! And coupled with a great cause like St. Jude’s, we ended up raising over $2000.00. We thought we couldn’t have possibly done better.
That was last year.
This year, our students were absolutely swarming to get into the Dance-a-Thon. They asked us about it weeks ahead of time. Those students who didn’t have as much to donate as the rest found sponsors to finance their contributions. Any time a student saw one of the teachers sitting out of a dance, they shouted to claim them and donate more. It was like an auction house!
We danced like it was the last two hours on earth, and when we were done and counting the cash and checks, watching the total climb past last year’s $2000.00, then $3000.00 then FOUR-freaking-thousand dollars, we started to realize exactly how charitable and incredible our students really were.
Proud as I am, this is their accomplishment. Our students don’t shy away from doing the right thing when the challenge is put before them. It makes every day teaching them that much more precious to us.
And it was precious to them, too. Specifically one special student of ours, Annabella, whose incredible story has taken her to many children’s hospitals in her young life. Check out the awesome sign she made for the Dance-a-Thon below!
If you would like to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital this year, please inquire HERE.