When Susan Martucci first opened her own dance studio, she was given this piece of advice from her father “Make sure you’re always a good corporate citizen and give back to the community”. Ever since she was given those words of advice, she has made it a point for her studio to be committed to giving back the community. “The most important thing I want my kids to learn from these experiences is to use their gifts for good purposes. “
The Dancer’s Pointe in Orlando, Florida participates in a variety of community service events every year. From performances for the assisted living community to kicking off the Orlando Vision Walk, Martucci tries to find every opportunity to get involved in the community. “It just makes you feel good!” says Martucci “You see people tapping their feet, smiling and giving lots of compliments to our girls, they’re just all great experiences.” The Orlando Vision Walk is one of the events very near and dear to her heart since her sister is vision impaired. Her dancers have been at the forefront of the walk, along with performing and fundraising ever since the event started 10 years ago. “Our dancer serve as kind of a pep rally! We start off the walk and perform for everyone there to get them excited for the walk”
Martucci also has her dancers frequently participate in community outreach because she realizes the importance of instilling community service values while the kids are young.
“I really believe that if kids do community service while they are young, they’ll grow up to continue making a positive impact on the community. “
Another memorable moment of community outreach is her work with The Russell Home. The Russell home is “…home for a number of children whose handicap prevents their independent functioning in the community, and otherwise enjoying a normal life. Each child is encouraged to develop to his or her own full potential, at their own pace. An important part of the program is the daily personal routine and no child is ever turned away.”
After one of the studio’s performances at the Russell home, Martucci just couldn’t get the girls from the home out of her head. She knew she wanted to do something for them. She got together with the director and ran with an idea; she knew she wanted to include them in her recital.
Next thing she knew she was calling businesses for any help they could offer to help give the girls the full experience. “I was extremely grateful and impressed by the willingness of community businesses and people to just get up and help” The community had risen to the occasion granting the girls donated shoes and tights, helpers to do the girls hair and makeup, and costumes. The girls came to rehearsals, had their own dressing area, and waited until it was their time to perform. “For a lot of them it’s a dream come true and parents are so proud to see their kids up there performing” Martucci saw the faces of the parents and realized “It’s regular things we take for granted. After these experiences, I will never take watching my daughter perform for granted again.” Last year was their very first recital, and they are very excited to be coming in again this year.
Her words of advice:
“Life lessons are learned through dance. Whatever path you choose, you will go through life with poise, style, and grace.Life serves you curve balls and it’s all about how you react.”
Martucci is preparing to celebrate 25 years of the dancer’s pointe on June 6th. “We are very excited to have alumni come back to dance a number for us! This is a huge occasion for us showing the community of Orlando our long history of dance and encouraging students to contribute back to our community” The dancers are also preparing for Dance America competition in July in Chicago! For more information on the great things The Dancer’s Pointe is up to, visit their website at dancerspointe.org. Also, go ahead and check out the Russell Home (http://www.russellhome.org/) and Orlando Vision Walk (www.fightblindness.org/OrlandoVisionWalk) to learn ways that you can get involved!