Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Brandon & South Shore News

Dancing for Donations expands into its own Brandon studio

BRANDON — Sara Battaglia has always loved dance.

Growing up in North Port, she recalls her mom working two jobs to help offset studio tuitions that eventually led her to the Sarasota Ballet School, the School of Russian Ballet.

She eventually studied dance at the University of South Florida before a hip injury mid-semester caused her to withdraw from dance.

“I was bored,” said Battaglia, 23. “I wanted to dance and give back to the community.”

In May of 2017 she held her first dance class for about five children at the Brandon Moose Lodge because the space was free, and she could provide a low-cost dance experience for parents and their kids.

Since bingo and fish fries aren’t exactly a kid-friendly environment, Battaglia moved her instruction to the party room in We Rock the Spectrum indoor gym and Dancing for Donations was born.

Now, one month after expanding into its own 1,500 square foot space next door at 1076 E Brandon Blvd., No. 101, Dancing for Donations might need to grow again.

“We weren’t thinking of expanding further than this, but we might have to sooner than we thought,” said Battaglia, who plans to hold a grand opening on Saturday (Nov. 3). “The amount of kids we have is insane and we keep getting more.”

More than 120 dancers age 2 through adult have signed up for approximately two dozen classes covering ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and acro. All classes are inclusive, meaning kids of all abilities and special needs are welcome.

“We don’t separate them. We don’t believe in separating special needs kids,” said Battaglia, noting 30 percent of the studio’s dancers have diagnosed special needs ranging from autism to wheelchairs.

As the name indicates, the studio is a non-profit that is partially funded on donations (online, vendor events, business partnerships, etc.).

Along with Amanda Ross, a 19-year-old student Battaglia recruited to help run the studio, Battaglia looks to give back to places like the Humane Society.

Dancers often perform at nursing homes and at local events such as the annual Buddy Walk for Downs Syndrome at Raymond James Stadium. Battaglia said she would like to do more, but needs to convince organizations to buy in to her unique approach.

Tuition at Dancing for Donations is $25 a month and it includes one class a week. Battaglia and Ross say that is approximately half or one third of what most dance studios charge.

If you need dance shoes, there’s a box full for free use. Find your size, enjoy and donate them back when you outgrow them. And when it comes time for the recital, the fee is $35 – that includes the month’s instruction and a “rental”” of the costumes.

“Our primary focus is to offer dance classes reduced in price,” Battaglia said. “I think that’s why we’re growing a lot faster than we expected to grow.”

For more information call (813) 601-3009, visit them on Facebook at facebook.com/dancingfordonations.

Vascular service office opens in FishHawk

Vital Line PICC and Vascular Services, Inc. recently opened a mobile catheter and IV service company in the FishHawk area. The team of experienced nurses is led by owners Deborah and Adeyinka Awolowo and they specialize in peripherally inserted central catheters and intravenous lines.

Their main office is located at 5668 Fishhawk Crossing Blvd. Suite 172 in Lithia but they schedule around the clock procedures at places such as nursing homes and private homes by calling (813) 333-0666. Visit vitalpicc.com.

SHARE YOUR NEWS: If you have an item for Everybody’s Business, contact Eric Vician at [email protected]

Comments
Joggers, cyclists now wait to see where future of Upper Tampa Bay Trail leads

Joggers, cyclists now wait to see where future of Upper Tampa Bay Trail leads

Hillsborough commissioners are not recommending a realignment of the Upper Tampa Bay Trail to make room for a 300-unit apartment block. But whether trail users can claim victory is unsure.
Published: 11/13/18
Land O’ Lakes veteran finds new purpose in adaptive sports

Land O’ Lakes veteran finds new purpose in adaptive sports

Green Beret George Vera credits Warrior Games, Invictus Games for helping him get back to ‘normality.’
Published: 11/06/18
Brandon’s Nativity Catholic Church gears up for another Novemberfest

Brandon’s Nativity Catholic Church gears up for another Novemberfest

The carnival stands as the community’s largest annual event.
Published: 11/06/18
Something for everyone at Junior League’s annual Tampa Holiday Gift Market

Something for everyone at Junior League’s annual Tampa Holiday Gift Market

The shopping extravaganza at the Florida State Fairgrounds expects to draw 30,000.
Published: 11/06/18
Joe Henderson: Athletic departments need to heed the warnings of dwindling attendance

Joe Henderson: Athletic departments need to heed the warnings of dwindling attendance

UF becomes the latest football program to see a decline at the gate.
Published: 11/06/18
Brandon: Say goodbye to Kmart, hello to Lucky’s Market

Brandon: Say goodbye to Kmart, hello to Lucky’s Market

An Ohio developer will add the chic supermarket and two other outlets to Brandon Boulevard center.
Published: 11/06/18
County looks to new athletic facility as revenue generator

County looks to new athletic facility as revenue generator

The Hillsborough County Tournament SportsPlex hosts its first event in December and expects to generate $7.3 million in 2019.
Published: 11/06/18
Tiny Home Show to return to Ruskin

Tiny Home Show to return to Ruskin

The one-day event, which drew crowds in 2017, will highlight small-space living and best practices on the emerging trend.
Published: 11/05/18
Updated: 11/06/18
Westfield Brandon to salute veterans with special event

Westfield Brandon to salute veterans with special event

The mall’s Dining Under The Stars & Stripes on Wednesday (Nov. 7) will feature a three-course meal while helping raise funds for Valor Service Dogs, a Tampa-based nonprofit that assists post 9/11 wounded veterans.
Published: 11/02/18
Dancing for Donations expands into its own Brandon studio

Dancing for Donations expands into its own Brandon studio

The program, which doesn’t exclude special needs students, remains popular.
Published: 11/01/18