Ballroom team to wash cars, teach dance moves to help finance humanitarian trip to South Africa

Members of the 2017 American Leadership Academy Ballroom Team are, from left, Anisa Meyers, Chandler Flaherty, Megan Cooper, Nash Davis, Brenlyn Brooks, Erick Boyd, Lyndee Clark, Bujon Boyd, Anisee Fiaui, Chandler Way, Tyra Gilmore, Jeremiah Boyd, Maria Cervantes, Dallin Edwards, Jessica Brown, Zach Rogers, Paige Bailey and Josh Eames. The dancers are holding two fundraisers Feb. 4 — a dance class and a community yard sale and car wash. (Courtesy of American Leadership Academy)

Members of American Leadership Academy’s elite ballroom dance team may be light on their feet, but they also will have to be quick on their toes Feb. 4. That’s when the dancers from ALA’s junior/senior high in Queen Creek will host back-to-back fundraisers. Their goal is to help finance a humanitarian trip next month to Swaziland, South Africa, according to event fliers the students are circulating around the town and on social media.

The public is invited to participate in both events and help support the dance team’s efforts.

The first fundraiser is a community yard sale and car wash. It will take place 8 a.m.-noon at American Leadership Academy’s Gilbert campus at 3155 Santan Village Parkway in Gilbert.

The second is a “Night of Dance” for all couples eager to get their dancing shoes on and learn some new dance moves. It will take place 6-8 p.m. in the ALA Queen Creek dance room, 23908 S. Hawes Road. The cost is $10 per couple. Dances include the fox trot and salsa.

The dancers began raising money for the trip in May. Each was asked to earn $2,500 for the trip to South Africa, ALA Fine Arts teacher Alycesun M. Clare said in an e-mailed response to questions. She said the team would raise funds separately for its airfare.

All 18 team members are scheduled to go on the trip, which will take place March 2-19. The ballroom team connected with Kaiizen, a nonprofit group that has created more than 150 humanitarian excursions, Ms. Clare said.

The students will first spend three days at The Moya Community Center, where they will teach afternoon clubs, plant a community garden and host a Saturday workshop, soccer tournament and dance festival, Ms. Clare said.

During the next three days, the students will build a community center for the Kwakha Invodza (http://kwakhaindvodza.com/), an organization that mentors young African men. The students will plant another community garden, build an amphitheater and classroom desks and chairs, Ms. Clare said.

The trip will not be all work, the fine arts teacher said. During a stop in London, the young dancers will perform at a boarding school in north London. They also will host a dance festival where they and other young groups will perform.

For more information, e-mail Ms. Clare at aclare@alaschools.org.

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