Jenna Lyon started a nonprofit called, A Chance to Dance almost 10 years ago because she loves dance and wanted to share that passion with others. 

A Chance to Dance is a free of charge dance program for children of all ages with special needs, the program website says. Classes are held in Barbara Ann’s School of Dance.

“Due to everything going on in the world right now with COVID and the pandemic, all the closure that we’ve been experiencing, it’s been difficult trying to come up with ways to raise money for our program,” she said. So, they have decided to host a virtual 5K on August 8. 

To register for the virtual 5K, visit Registration to be guaranteed a T-shirt is July 23, but you may register all the way up to the day of the event. There is a $20 registration fee to join.

The program is completely volunteer based, Palmer Ward said who is one of the volunteers. One-hundred percent of the money raised in fundraisers is put toward the kids in the program. 

During the shutdowns, those with A Chance to Dance have had to be creative in the ways they interact. Lyon said they have had get-togethers on Zoom, a video conferencing platform, so that students can socialize. The volunteers have also taught dance virtually that way, she said. 

“One time we did, like, a scavenger hunt where it incorporated them doing dance moves along with the scavenger hunt,” Lyon said. 

Other ways the A Chance to Dance team stayed connected was through having families create their own dance video as a part of a competition. 

The Lyon family made a video to the hit, “Love Shack.” 

“We had, like, 12 families participate in that,” Ward said. “And, they were super creative. Some of them had us cracking up laughing and people crying. So, they were all very unique and that was awesome.”

Students are important to the A Chance to Dance team. Lyon said it was neat to hear how important their interactions were with the dance students because A Chance to Dance was the only consistent thing in the kids lives while school shut down. 

“I feel like it’s hard to talk about how much the program means to the kids,” Ward said. “It’s just something you just have to see and be a part of. … It’s nothing but positivity every single Sunday. It’s awesome.”

With year 10 fast approaching, Lyon said she would love to see A Chance to Dance continue to grow and expand. 

Recommended for you