When I lost my day job at the height of the financial crisis and could not get a job, dancing was the only thing that kept me sane. It also broke the bank. Dance classes in the city add up fast at nearly $20 each. I eventually got a job and paid off the debt, but I remember the feeling of not being able to afford dance classes.

Six years ago I started teaching ballet at Liberated Movement, New York City’s only donation based dance studio. I have been really proud to help the studio grow and watch my students blossom. I’ve also made some wonderful friends.

As a donation based dance studio, (suggested donation is $10) we are supported solely by our student donations. We hold two fundraisers a year to help fund our mission to provide open level classes from a place of joy not judgement that are financially and socially accessible to students of all levels. We want to keep our classes donation based because we understand how expensive dance classes can be in the city. Dancers are the lowest paid of any art form, yet taking class can’t be sacrificed if dancers want to stay in working shape.

Giving Tuesday is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, and is an international day of giving to charities at the start of the holiday season as a response to the consumerism of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a way for all of us to give back to charities in need.

This Saturday, November 11th, Liberated Movement will kick off our annual Giving Tuesday campaign with an amazing Contemporary Dance class taught by guest teacher Ryan Daniel Beck. The class will be held from 5-6:30pm at the Battery Dance studios, where we teach, at 380 Broadway, buzzer #5, in the front studio.

Ryan teaches at Broadway Dance Studio in New York and is a professional dancer, having done commercial dance work for ESPN, MTV, Fuse TV and many, many others. His class is a combination of guided organic flow and structured exploration and informed improvisation, working with a natural playful curiosity. His class is a fun exploration of movement and accessible to students at any level of training. Ryan’s class will be $20, and proceeds from his class will go towards operating costs of Liberated Movement. You aren’t just getting a fun class, you are also helping our studio survive. You can pay at the door or sign up for Ryan’s class this Saturday here. If you believe in our mission but are unable to attend the class, you can give directly to our Giving Tuesday campaign here.

I look forward to seeing you this Saturday at ballet class 12-1:30pm or at Ryan’s class from 5-6:30pm.

~Sarah