Dancing for Hunger bigger and better

Lisa Goudy
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Dancers and representatives from the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank strike a pose with all of the donated food at Dance Images by BJ's annual Dancing for Hunger event at Peacock Collegiate on March 29, 2014.

Dance Images by BJ put on show with donations to the food bank

So much food was donated to the food bank at the Dancing for Hunger event that another truck was needed to haul it.

“It’s great. This is something we look forward to every year,” said Terri Smith, manager of the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank. “It’s a lot of food. It’s a really good thing they do for us.”

Dance Images by BJ put on their annual Dancing for Hunger Event on Saturday night at Peacock Collegiate.

“We showcase our acro-performance groups and also all of our solos, duos and trios,” said Shauna Bzdel, ballet instructor for Moose Jaw's Dance Images by BJ. “Rather than charge admission to come and watch the show, everybody just brings food donations and we donate everything to the food bank. It’s been a great opportunity. I think it’s made the kids really aware of how fortunate they are.”

The studio started doing the event more than five years ago as a way for solos, duos and trios to perform on stage to start off the competition season. The studio also wanted to give back to the community and then Dancing for Hunger was born.

Last year, the event raised more than 1,100 pounds of food.

"We have way more than what we had last year,” said Bzdel. “It’s been awesome. Every year it’s getting bigger and bigger and we’ve been able to give more food donations to the food bank, which is really exciting.”

More than 100 dancers took part in the show that consisted of 73 numbers. The relatively new acro dancing program, which has more than 100 dancers in it, incorporates tricks like flips into a dance performance.

“It’s a great syllabus that we have at the studio and this is a great way of having the kids be able to perform,” said Bzdel. “We are seeing lots of wonderful results.”

She added she was pleased with how the night unfolded.

“It’s great that our families are so supportive of us,” said Bzdel. “Everybody is just so giving to be able to come and have a great evening of entertainment and walk away at the end of the night knowing that they are helping somebody else as well.”

Jessica Wray, 13, has been dancing since she was five years old. She does a bit of everything in dance, but specializes in ballet and lyrical.

“I think it’s for a good cause and it’s a lot of fun to put on the show and make people smile,” she said. “The best part is being on the stage after all the hard, hard, hard work. It pays off.”

Smith said the food bank is doing well and is still stocked thanks to the Better Together Food Drive that took place on Halloween.

“The shelves are full and this will replenish any empty spaces we might have had,” she said. “This is the time of year when donations start to go down between now and October. So it’s nice to have bigger food drives like this to kind of keep us going. We really rely on these other food drives.”

School snacks, baby formula, pork and beans are items the food bank is typically short of. She said the food bank hands out more than 300 hampers of food per month. Forty per cent of the clients are children.

“That’s a lot of people,” said Smith. “Every bit helps. No matter how small or how big, it’s really appreciated.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Moose Jaw and District Food Bank

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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