Dance Studio Plans to ‘Kick for a Cause’ to Raise Awareness for MS

By Christine Valdez
Web Production Assistant

Photo by Caroline Keating. Courtesy of Vanessa Berry

Bake sales, walks and runs come to mind when it comes to fundraising and bringing awareness to causes. In Rumson, Kick Dance Studios will use dance as a way to carry its message for a cause.

Kick Dance Studios will be hosting its “Kick for a Cause” benefit performance Sunday, Feb. 23 to raise awareness about multiple sclerosis. Studio owner Vanessa Berry says that this year’s performance funds and donations will go to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The cause hits home for the studio.

“This year we chose MS because one of our student’s mom has MS and we watch her struggle every day and we wanted to give something back to her,” said Berry.

The 2014 “Kick for a Cause” will be the studio’s sixth annual fundraiser dedicated to charities. In 2013, the studio chose to benefit Monmouth Beach Elementary, a school that had been damaged in Hurricane Sandy and one that several of the studio’s students attended. In other years, the studio has donated funds from the event to a homeless shelter in Manhattan and several other charities.

“Every year the charity has to be something related to our students,” said Berry.

For this year, the studio has set a goal of raising $15,000. Not only does the studio plan to donate funds from the “Kick for a Cause” dance show, but it will also join an annual charity dace competition — “The Power of Dance” — and donate those funds as well.

As of now, about $8,000 has been raised from advanced ticket sales and advertising.

“Our goal, as we also do a charity dance competition, where the company that we compete with donates the portions. So between this event and that we’re hoping to raise $15,000,” Berry said.

About 175 kids between the ages of 4 and 18 are expected to perform at “Kick for a Cause” in various dance styles from jazz, hip-hop, ballet and acrobatic routines. Four show times have been set at the Rumson Fair Haven High School, with shows starting at noon, 1:15 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:45 p.m.

“It’s one day and there’s four different acts,” said Berry. “If it’s more convenient for people to come earlier or later, there’s definitely options for everybody.”

Following “Kick for a Cause,” the studio will be doing another fundraiser as a kickoff to its summer camp. For the second fundraiser, the studio plans to donate funds to an animal shelter.

Meanwhile, this year’s inspiration for the February show has been wanting to get more involved, according to Berry.

“The mom is so grateful and so appreciative and pretty much speechless,” Berry said. “She’s such a wonderful lady and she’s just been texting me, ‘I want to help, I want to do more.'”