iDance hosts end-of-season fundraiser on Sunday, September 15
iDance Adaptive Performing Arts Center has a mission to inspire a love of performing arts through creative expression while providing support for healthy life habits for people of all abilities. The Center, a private-pay non-profit, offers services, classes and day programs for the disabled community.
On Sunday, September 15, iDance will hold its first-ever music festival fundraiser at The Attic on Adams, featuring live music throughout the day, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle and student-made crafts for attendees to take home. Because every entertainer is performing voluntarily, 100 percent of the proceeds go towards iDance to help fund the expanding center.
“We are hoping to make this an annual event and end the summer with some summer vibes. We want to bring everyone together before we head into the fall,” said Executive Director Karen Medina.
The birth of iDance seemed to be fate for Medina. Worn-out from her time spent coaching competitive dance, Medina jumped at the opportunity to teach a few dance classes to disabled students. “Dance moms are real. It’s scary. You can work your tail off all year for one dance, and in one minute get ripped apart.” The environment at iDance is much more fun and relaxed. “I was not at all involved with special needs before. This (her involvement with iDance) was meant to be. It’s a case of the right time at the right place. I thank them (the students) all the time for allowing me to be a part of their life.”
The students come up with the ideas for routines and Medina takes those ideas and brings them to life. “We do a bit of everything. Hip hop, tap, interpretive, we are all over the place. We say we are different on purpose and our passion is our technique.” Diagnosis does not matter, Medina says. When a student comes in, the only thing she cares to know is what they’re interested in. She then accommodates them based on their answers. “I ask them, “Do you like to jump? Do you like big classes or small classes? How do you feel about loud music?”
Inclusivity is everything at iDance and Medina hopes to spread that inclusivity throughout the Toledo community as well. “We have to be more inclusive. And inclusive doesn’t mean just because you invited us. It means you thought about us being there. I’m hoping for Toledo to be a great place to live.”
Just keep growing, just keep growing
iDance first began as simply a dance studio, but through the course of ten years, it has expanded into three studios to meet demand. “Every year we expand with the needs of what they’re wanting,” Medina said. “We offer other things besides dance. We offer sign language, acting, singing, photography, film, and art classes as well as our brand new LGBTQ rec group.”
In the beginning, iDance was composed of just five students. Now the Center hosts more than 170 students ranging from ages five to 70. This expansion requires community support. “We want to do more. We are growing so rapidly and we need community support to handle the growth. These are some amazing people and we have more coming our way,” Medina said.
Over the past two years, iDance has held 75 performances, including their annual flash mob and art loop performances. They will hold their end of the year showcase on October 6th at Lourdes College.
Medina has a simple request of the Toledo community in regards to the Summer Vibes Music Fest fundraiser: Change your schedule. “For that one day, change your schedule so you can change someone else’s life. We have to make the outside world a little easier for them.”
Summer Vibes Music Fest
$15 | 3-9pm | Sunday, September 15
The Attic on Adams, 1701 Adams St.
419-309-1610 | iDanceAPAC.com