The Chance to Dance
HACKENSACK’S BLOSSOM SISTERS DANCE KEEPS UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN ON THEIR TOES
Hackensack’s Blossom Sisters Dance keeps underprivileged children on their toes
Growing up poor in Harlem, sisters Shatanya Shaw and Shama Elliott watched other little girls take the dance classes they couldn’t afford. It left a sadness that they still recall now, from their Hackensack-based dance studio, and it’s a feeling they hope other little girls are spared.
When they realized how many children in their own community were missing out on dance lessons for financial reasons, they turned their school, Blossom Sisters Dance & Performing Arts, into a nonprofit organization, and offered every child – with or without means – an opportunity to dance.
“We opened our doors as a traditional dance school in 2006, but in 2008 we started offering reduced tuition privately to parents who struggled to pay,” Elliott says. “But with so many students’ families being low income, we knew becoming a 501(c)(3) charity would let us help the greatest number of children.”
THE FOUNDERS Shatanya Shaw and Shama Elliot created a nonprofit studio so that all kids can have a chance to take dance classes.