Dance Arts Centre Serves Community and Students

Dance Arts Centre (DAC), a now nonprofit dance studio, has offered general studio dance classes since 1982. But since being purchased in 2005 by Sarah Balda, the studio has been redeveloped with a focus on serving the community as well as the dancers. After receiving nonprofit status in 2008, Sarah began programs to break down the financial barriers that dance classes can typically create for families because of the financial commitment and expand the experience of dance to every child in the community.

“Dance has influenced my life tremendously,” Sarah said. “I want to help these dancers go on to be community-minded individuals.”

The studio has two locations in Indian Harbour Beach and Melbourne at the Henegar Center. General studio classes are offered from ages three to adult including ballet, modern, tap, hip hop and more during the Fall and Spring.

DAC offers scholarships for students whose families qualify and those families that are willing to volunteer time in exchange for a discounted cost. The studio also has a dancewear exchange offering gently used equipment to further ease the financial strain. Performances are held at community events like Fall for the Arts rather than expensive recitals.

Another community program hosted by DAC is a special live dance concert called Hear Me Dance. Dance studios throughout the community are invited to dance routines choreographed by students, with proceeds benefiting another community nonprofit.

“Hear Me Dance instills self confidence and creativity among students while helping a greater good.”

The DAC’s latest project includes dancing beyond the studio walls – bringing dance to community centers in lower income areas for children who may not have the opportunity to experience dance. Lessons are offered in six week blocks and then finish with a performance.

DAC will host the 3rd Annual Hear Me Dance Concert on Friday, January 25, 2013 at the Heritage Isle Clubhouse Theater at 7 p.m. The event’s proceeds will benefit Club Esteem (