At Central Park Dance in Scarsdale, joining a dance company isn’t just for weekends spent at the barre! Now celebrating 35 years, the studio hosts their Signature, Signature Elite and Remixx dance Companies with a pre-professional training curriculum and a commitment to giving back to the community.
Through Project Inspire, an initiative developed by the studio’s Artistic Director, Maria Bai, Central Park Dance has worked to develop a studio culture that aims to make a positive impact on the surrounding communities who are in need. Along with supporting causes to fund research for breast and pediatric cancer, juvenile diabetes, and autism and visiting and dancing at senior homes around the area, the dancers have also helped to feed the homeless for over 5 years. Throughout the year, the groups gather to make sandwiches and deliver them for local midnight runs in lower Westchester. This past winter, the dancers made over 300 sandwiches in just one afternoon, and the studio continues to develop new initiatives to give back.
"I started doing this with my children when they were younger,” recalls Bai. “I saw the way it made them feel and appreciate things they hadn’t considered before. When these companies got more established, I wanted to focus on not only developing great dancers, but great citizens who above all are generous and warm. Our Project Inspire brings our own studio community closer together but also brings our larger communities together too.”
Bai and some of her Signature dancers were recently seen on ABC’s The Chew, recognizing them for their kindness and commitment to making a difference, and will continue to feed the homeless and share their talents.