Dance Tech’s Dancers with a Purpose will benefit Jasper House | ParkRecord.com

Dance Tech’s Dancers with a Purpose will benefit Jasper House

Young dancers at Dance Tech Studios rehearse for their upcoming Dancers with a Purpose concert that will benefit Jasper House in Haiti. Jasper House is a nonprofit that provides a safe haven for girls and young women who have been victims of human trafficking. (Jake Shane/Park Record)

In 2013, Dance Tech Studios presented its first Dancers with a Purpose benefit concert.

The funds raised that evening went to Peace House, a local nonprofit dedicated to wiping out domestic violence in Summit and Wasatch counties.

Since then, the award-winning dance studio has performed benefit concerts for the National Ability Center and Foundations of Home, an orphanage in Haiti.

This year Dancers with a Purpose will present a benefit concert for another Haitian nonprofit, Jasper House.

The performance will be held at Ecker Hill Middle School Auditorium, 2465 Kilby Rd., on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door, and additional donations will be accepted.

Ecker Hill Middle School has donated the theater this year, so 100 percent of the money raised on Tuesday will go directly to Jasper House, said Nicole Fielding, director and owner of Dance Tech Studios.

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The concert will feature all of Dance Tech Studios’ competing companies and feature ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern and hip-hop works, according to Fielding.

"These are what we will take to competitions this year," Fielding told The Park Record. "We wanted to start them off like this because we wanted to show the dancers that dancing is not all about costumes and the glamor of dancing. We wanted to start off the season from a grounded place."

A total of 75 dancers will be in the production.

"Our youngest dancer is 4 and our oldest dancers will be our graduating seniors," Fielding said.

Dance Tech Studios selected Jasper House in part because of the success it had with the Foundations of Home benefit concert last year.

"We loved what we were able to do last year," Fielding said. "We raised just more than $5,000 last year and the money raised helped to bring clean water lines and set up electrical access to the building."

Jasper House grabbed Fielding’s attention this year because it was established solely for young girls and young women.

The concert will not only raise money for Jasper House, but also will help raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking.

"It’s a safe haven for these girls who have been victims of human trafficking, and is a complete program and home that helps these young women in every facet of their lives — physically, emotionally and spiritually," Fielding said. "The sad thing is many families disown these girls and young women and literally kick them out into the streets.

"In Haiti, the women aren’t typically educated nor have they developed any type of skills," she said. "So when they are put out on the streets, they have no way of taking care of themselves."

Fielding heard about Jasper House through her colleague Natalie Keys, dance teacher and owner of Funkeys dance clothing.

"She did a Facebook post and announced a week-long sale of Funkeys clothes to raise money for Jasper House," Fielding said. "Then she went to Haiti and taught the young women there how to use sewing machines."

The concert will also feature a guest performance by the Underground Crew, directed by Keys, as well as some videos she made, according to Fielding.

"These videos have information about Jasper House and the problem of human trafficking, and we will show them during the concert," she said. "It was important for Natalie to do this, because she can speak from first-hand experience because of her visits to Haiti."

Fielding is excited to raise money for an organization that focuses on the advancement of young women.

"Yes, we have boys in our dance program, but we are comprised of mostly young women, so, this really stuck out to me," she said. "It’s important that our girls know they can help other girls who are in need."

Fielding also said this year’s benefit is part of the evolution of Dancers with a Purpose.

"Foundations of Home, which is still thriving, was our first step and Jasper House is the next step," she said. "Both nonprofits work in unity, and Natalie has been trying to create a system that ties these two, as well as other nonprofits that are working efficiently on their own, together in one community effort.

"The next project in the coming years is to build a community center, where different orphanages will be centralized," Fielding said. "Natalie has seen all of these organizations can be so much more resourceful if they are tied together in some way. So, what we did last year is a puzzle piece of a bigger picture in a country that needs a lot of help."

Fielding believes the audience will enjoy the performance, but also enjoy being part of this cause.

"We fell in love with the Haitian culture last year and had a great response from those who attended the concert, and we want to take them with us on our journey," she said.

Dance Tech Studios will present its fourth annual Dancers With a Purpose benefit concert at the Ecker Hill Middle School Auditorium, 2465 Kilby Rd., on Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door, and additional donations will be accepted. For more information about Jasper House, visit http://www.jasperhousehaiti.org . For more information about the concert, call 435-655-9213 or visit http://www.dancetechworld.com.