Marking its two-year anniversary this past March, Liberated Movement™, a donation-based dance organization in New York City, is now launching an IndieGoGo.com fundraising campaign to help continue this amazing and necessary cause. I feel quite honored that I was present at the initial spark period, when friends and co-founders of the organization, Lauren Pellettieri and Elizabeth Fielder, discussed with me their idea about affordable dance classes on a Metro-North train ride back to Grand Central Station. It was a time of great creativity for all of us, as I had just started the ball rolling with Bare Feet™ a few months prior in January 2010. It is amazing to surround yourself with like-minded creative and entrepreneurial dance folk (and bodies) - wonderful things happen! Co-founders Pellettieri and Fielder both danced their entire lives, attending the same high school and continuously performing together in Queens, NY. In college, both went their separate ways but each continued their love for dance in their respective schools: Fielder at Binghamton University and Pellettieri at Fordham University. Fordham's Expressions Dance Alliance program was a big influence on Pellettieri, as she was an active member of this student-based program, choreographing pieces and producing substantial performances throughout the year. Pellettieri's network of talented female dancers who were non-dance majors paved the way for the current make-up of Liberated Movement™; most of the board members in the organization are all alumnae of Expressions Dance Alliance. When Pellettieri and Fielder both graduated college, their bank accounts were empty but their souls were in need of their regular dance classes that had been readily available to them in school. In frustration to New York City dance classes being too expensive and unaffordable, the dancing duo took matters into their own hands. Based on the successful business model of Yoga To The People, donation-based yoga classes, Pellettieri and Fielder knew that the same demand for accessible and affordable classes was present in the dance world. Now, two years later, Liberated Movement's schedule has grown, offering a variety of classes almost every day of the week and featuring top-notch instructors.
THE BARE FEET™ FIVE: 1. Dance with Liberated Movement: They mean exactly what they say - all classes are donation-based. A $5 donation is suggested, but whatever you can afford is happily accepted (that also means you can give more if you really loved the class!). Check out the full schedule, with weekly classes held at the Battery Dance Company studios in downtown Manhattan (380 Broadway, 5th floor, NY, NY) . 2. Dance for EVERYONE: Liberated Movement's classes are open to all levels of dance, so whether you are a newcomer or a professional, there is a place for you! 3. The campaign: Whether you can donate a dollar or $100, any form of support to help Liberated Movement™ reach their goal of $5,000 is greatly appreciated. And don't underestimate the power of spreading the word; every little bit helps! To donate or help pass along the campaign info, go to IndieGoGo.com. 4. Lauren's classes: Lauren Pellettieri teaches classes as well - you can find her taking most of the Liberated Movement classes or leading the high-energy Bollywood & bhangra dance class, Masala Bhangra®! 5. The NYC Dance Parade: Saturday, May 19th, 2012 at 1pm marks the annual NYC Dance Parade. Beginning at 21st Street and making its way down Broadway to Tompkins Square Park via St. Mark's Place, this East Village favorite is a day full of dance from around the world and throughout all time. FREE activities and performances to follow in the park, this event is great for families!