PLEASANTON — Jazz N Taps Dance Studio of Pleasanton hosted a Dance-athon last month, raising over $18,000 for the nonprofit Dancers Against Cancer (DAC).
Jennifer Buros co-owns the studio with her mother, Sherri Sweetnam, and said 56 of their dancers participated in a 12-hour Dance Marathon to raise the funds.
“The dancers decorated t-shirts, played team building games, and danced, danced, danced,” Buros said. “In the end, these dancers raised $18,640 for Dancers Against Cancer, a cause near and dear to our hearts. We are so proud of them, and so grateful for all of the incredible love and support.”
Buros said several of the dance competitions her studio participates in support DAC, sharing information about the importance of the financial aid the organization provides for dancers, dance teachers and the families affected by cancer.
“It's an organization that our dancers are familiar with, and they know that this charity helps people just like them,” Buros said. “In addition, we personally have family members who have battled breast cancer, and we have known several dance moms throughout the years who have as well.”
Sweetnam opened Jazz N Taps 30 years ago, so she could teach her daughter to dance. Buros now shares ownership with her mother; her two daughters are dance students, and her cousin is a teacher, making it a true family business. Together, they plan and execute their dance marathon every other year. The 56 participants were divided into teams, with each team taking a turn dancing. When the girls aren’t dancing, they stay busy with team-building activities or eat a meal. All the dancers were at the studio for the full 12 hours, and at least one group was dancing at all times.
Buros said the funds were raised by the dancers, who must each raise $250 to participate, though many girls raised more by reaching out to family and community members for donations.
Mikayla Freeman is a 17-year-old dancer who has been part of Jazz N Taps for a decade. She said she looks forward to the marathon each year and all the fun it entails. This year, she expanded her role by leading one of the teams as captain.
“I love the Dance-athon,” Mikayla said. “It’s one of my favorite parts of being on the team. This only happens every other year, so every time it’s a dance marathon year, I get super excited. I love the bonding experience it provides for my team. Everyone is so tired, but it’s so fun.”
Mikayla said she and her fellow dancers all enjoy raising money for DAC because it gets the money to people who need it. Buros agreed.
Speaking of the Dance Marathons, she said, “We have raised close to $100,000 for charity at these events. Oftentimes, after our participants graduate from high school, they say that the Dance Marathon is one of the best memories they have at Jazz N Taps. It is truly a meaningful experience for so many of our dancers.”
Jazz N Taps Dance Studio is located at 1270 Quarry Lane, in Pleasanton. For more information, call 925-484-0678 or visit www.jazzntaps.com. Donations can still be made to DAC by visiting imadanceragainstcancer.org. To view a video of the dancers final dance during the marathon, visit youtu.be/KFsskMerDY4.