Dance Benefit Concert

By Meredith Barnes and Andrea Cook
February 24, 2023

On February 16th, at 8 pm, the Fairfax Academy Dance program hosted its annual benefit concert. Each year, the students select an organization that directly impacts our community. The students chose to partner with NEDA, the National Eating Disorders Association. NEDA provides support for people struggling with eating disorders and their families.

In an industry that thrives on structure, comparison, and perfectionism, especially as it relates to body type,  the dance industry has created an  environment where many struggle with positive body image. We as dancers and experts are calling for change! Using dance as a platform for change, the Academy raised $1,750 for the organization NEDA. At the beginning of the evening, one of the Academy dancers shared how NEDA made a huge difference in her life and helped her through a really dark time. Mrs. Barnes, the Academy Dance Director, states “Throughout my 26-year career, I have seen dancers suffer from an eating disorder more times than I can count.  My goal is to make dance a safe, thriving, loving industry for all.”

Academy dance students performed alongside community groups Helping Hearts Dance, Center Stage & Performing Arts Center, Xuejuan Dance Ensemble, Local Motion Project Youth Ensemble, Rhythm and Arts Center for Dance, Lasya Kathak Dance Academy, Claytor Company, and Kalavaridhi, and Fairfax Academy Dance alumni joined in performing, managing and producing the event.