“Dance made me who I am today. Not only was it an emotional outlet, but it was how I dealt when things were hard and my way of celebrating when things were good. The best part of dance for me was the escape. When the music came on, my body responded without a second guess. It was like nothing else existed and I could just be. Dance became an extension of who I was, like it was part of my identity.” – Leya Vandewaetere CEO
Leya trained with ODCS (Ottawa Dance Center School), a registered non-profit dance education institution. Judith Davies, the artistic director had a vision to create a dance school where every child is entitled to vocational dance training no matter their financial circumstances. For that reason, ODCS has special subsidy rates for those who may not be able to afford the full cost. Leya was one of those fortunate students. These costs previously funded by government and external institutions. Unfortunately, that funding has stopped and it’s up to the studio to cover these subsidies, leading to financial strain.
With funding becoming more limited for dance education, The Sunny Pineapple has created the Soaps for Hope initiative. The Soaps 4 Hope initiative is a subsidy program for dancers in the Ottawa and surrounding area. Although there are other dance scholarship programs out there, we offer scholarships for dancers based on need and desire for vocational dance training with no competitions or exams. These scholarships can be requested by local dance studios. Why let financial restriction keep your child from living their dreams?