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"My daughter, Kaila, has attended WSOD since its inception in 1997. It has been a great privilege to be part of a school where all the instructors are very caring and extremely dedicated to their students. Joanne Carey’s devotion to the art of dance has made the school a huge success and all the students adore her. Her commitment to the community is commendable and is evident through fundraising, offering a work study program and just this year introducing a “Little Stars” program for disabled children. The recitals are comparable to a professional production and leaves the audience feeling very proud to witness the cultivation of the dancers’ skills year after year. WSOD is a very special place and we are so happy to be a part of it." - Diane Starita
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Did you know……? A study by the University of California shows that Students involved in the arts are:
- Over four times more likely to engage in community service
- Eight times more likely to win a community service award.
The Westfield School of Dance believes in giving back and reaching out to those in need. Over the years we have been involved in different areas of community service and studio outreach, through Westfield Cares, The United Fund of Westfield, Girl Scout Service Projects, visiting nursing homes, free dance camp at the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Fanwood, Westfield’s First Night to name a few.
Currently, WSOD has adopted Missionaries of the Poor (MOP) as an ongoing outreach program, especially after the devastating earthquake and typhoon.
Missionaries of the Poor (MOP)
Missionaries of the Poor (MOP) was founded by Father Richard HoLung, a Catholic priest, in 1981, in Kingston, Jamaica. As the religious community began to take shape and solidify, MOP opened their first apostolate: Faith Centre-a home for destitute and homeless persons. What began as an initial group of four, MOP now reaches out to all corners of the world with apostolates and centers in, India, Haiti, the Philippines, Uganda, Kenya, & The United States. Pastoral and spiritual activities, worship and prayer, music and song are an integral part of MOP services to the poor. Living a materially simple and austere life, they own nothing personally, hold no personal bank accounts, do not watch TV or listen to radio, and do not drink alcoholic beverages or smoke. They sleep on bunk beds in dormitories, pray, eat, recreate, study, work and travel in community. Their daily life revolves around a life of prayer beginning at 5:45 a.m. and ending with night prayer at 9:00 p.m. They live a partly monastic life in cloister but graciously welcome visitors to their monasteries and ministries. In November of 2008, Miss Joanne visited the brothers of Missionaries of the Poor, in Cebu, Philippines where she worked side-by-side with the brothers serving the needs of the poor, the sick, the abandoned, the disabled, the mentally retarded and the neglected; sharing their meals, their water, and their home. And spent an entire day ministering to the youth of the surrounding area. Each year, the families of The Westfield School of Dance generously collect, donate and ship boxes of “Bundles of Joy” (toiletries, clothing, and basic needs) for the elderly, homeless and children of The Little Lamb Center in Cebu. Missionaries of the Poor take a vow of free-service to the least: None of the members receives salary, payment or stipend for his services. The community does not charge for its services to the poor and needy. As an ongoing outreach program of the Westfield School of Dance, ask how you too can continue to help those in need. Visit: www.missionariesofthepoor.org
In the Community: “The Shoe Box”
Westfield School of Dance collects your old, in good condition dance shoes. In October of 2009, WSOD donated new and used Pre-school Tap shoes to School # 15, Christopher Columbus Elementary, in Elizabeth , NJ, for a free after school Kindergarten tap dance program.
“I just wanted to let you know what a hit this tap dancing class has become; there is a waiting list to get into it. I felt that my students would be least likely to have access to a dance class in their out of school lives. It is with your help that I was able to stray away from handprint turkeys and santas. I spend all week answering the question, 'Do we have tap dancing today?” - Elizabeth Dressler, CCS #15
Ronald McDonald House Benefit Performance
Each December students of the Westfield School of Dance host a free Holiday performance that benefits The Ronald McDonald House in New Brunswick, NJ. In lieu of ticket sales, guests bring an item for the house wish list. Thanks to the generosity of the students, parents and guests of our dancers, we are able to deliver car loads of much needed supplies to the house and the families staying there.
Children's Specialized Hospital Visit & Performances
In conjunction with our benefit performance for Ronald McDonald House, we perform for the patients and their families rehabilitating at Children's Specialized Hospital. After our performance we visit with patients who ask questions and take pictures with the dancers.
Testimonials of our Studio Outreach efforts:
Linda B. Maggio- Executive Director, Westfield United Fund
Your generous support of the United Fund of Westfield is truly appreciated. On behalf of our 22 member agencies, our community, and the many people you help but may never meet, we thank you for caring! We are most grateful for your continued support and interest.
Sal Caruana- Westfield Cares
Thank you for you participation in WESTFIELD CARES. Your contribution is a reaffirmation of the American ideals of charity and community and a noble show of support for the families that have been struck by this unprecedented national tragedy.
Cristin Joy- Girl Scout
Thank you so much for all your help. My Gold Award project would not have been a success without your generosity and hard work. I appreciate all of the costumes and shoes that were donated to my “Share the Dance” project.
Why We’re Different
At the Westfield School of Dance we do what we love and love what we do - and it shows! We are very proud of our reputation as a leader in dance education and stand by our commitment to excellence for your child’s dance education. We want you to have every opportunity to register for class so please feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have. We are currently accepting registration for the dance season.Thank you for celebrating 16 years of providing quality dance education in the Westfield area and hope that you join us for an amazing year of dance!
Westfield School of Dance
137 Central Avenue, 2nd floor, Westfield, NJ 07090