Doing Good in the Dance World
One of my FAVORITE things about partnering with industry vendors is learning about the ways they serve others—beyond the obvious.
Revolution Dancewear, for example, recently became a Legacy Partner with us here at More Than Just Great Dancing!® and I’ve been thrilled to learn about how they are doing good in the dance world. One of the first things I learned about the operations behind Revolution is that the company directly supports studio owners with a grant program. How AWESOME is that!?
“Our heart has always been with studios,” explains Taylor Hiller, Revolution’s Brand Manager. “Our dedication to studio owners and their businesses inspired us” to directly give back to the dance community. Known as The Studio Essentials Grant Program, the initiative funds grants of $500 to $5,000 for studios to use toward things like student scholarships, curricula, facility improvements, or teacher education.
“As a result of last year’s program, we awarded $30,000 in grants to 21 studios across 14 states,” says Taylor. One recipient was Lejeune Dance Company, whose director, Meredith Caruso, sought funds to award student scholarships for children of fallen soldiers. “Our committee was shown the direct ways that these funds would help,” Taylor shares. “Now Lejeune Dance Company is offering three scholarships to injured service members and Purple Heart recipients, their dependents, and Gold Star family members.” The scholarships will cover the costs of a one-hour class, including costumes and dancewear, for a full year. (You can read more about this incredible story here!)
Learning about this program made me think of all the studio owners and managers I know who have been through tough times lately—from hurricanes to wildfires and everything in between—as well as those who are continually looking for ways to lift up their communities with dance. Revolution is taking grant applications through October 31, 2021 so I encourage you to apply if you are one of those people!
When I was digging in to understand all the innovative things Revolution is doing to serve and support studios, there was another initiative that stood out to me; one that was a bit more subtle but no less powerful: Revolution recently began partnering with Rhythm Works Integrative Dance to produce sensory-friendly dancewear.
Now, you and I both know how important this topic has become in the studio classroom: For our students to learn effectively, they need to be comfortable in their bodies AND in their clothing. And, of course, different children have different needs when it comes to defining what “comfortable” means. The phrase sensory friendly is so much more than a buzzword.
“Every piece of our Studio Essentials dancewear collection is wear-tested on individuals with different body types and varying sensory sensitivities,” Taylor says. Studio owners are “now able to shop by the five pillars of sensory-friendly dancewear.” Those five pillars are: Comfy & Cozy, Compression, Easy On & Off, Fidget Friendly, and Lower Body Stretch.
It may seem like a small thing for a dancewear and costume company to offer garments that support students of all learning styles and abilities, but it’s truly a BIG thing. I know that the amount of research and development alone could not have been a small effort. And here they are now, with products that go beyond mere fulfillment and serve a larger purpose in a child’s life.
Hats off to Revolution for their service to studio owners and students beyond costumes! If we ALL follow that bigger purpose for ourselves—if we all reach beyond the obvious to serve and support our mission—the dance industry itself will be all the better. <3