Shining Stars: No child is turned away at Dance Enterprises in Weirton

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Dance Enterprises in Weirton is turning heads.

That's because they're doing things a little different.

“It's about the kids,” said board member and parent Angela Underwood. “It's about serving them and giving them every opportunity to fit in with everybody.”

No child turned away is their motto.

The dance school, formally known as one Step Up, is now a non-profit -- Dance Acro Nutrition Care Enterprises Inc. Two days a week, they partner with the Weirton Christian Center and students are bused over to join in on hip hop, gymnastics and ballet classes.

“It's been a really eye-opening experience,” dance teacher Ashley Barnabei said. “When you see the kids that can normally afford it because you know that they want to be here, but that passion that you see in those kids’ eyes whenever they couldn't typically have afforded it, and now what you're giving to them, they work so hard. They don't squander a second when they are here they are working to strive to be better.”

“It's all about caring for the kids,” Underwood said. “You have to be in that mindset. You have to want to do good for your community and that's what everyone here does.”

There are five board members that oversee operations. Many of the teachers are volunteers.

Rosanna Conforti has a full-time day job at Acuity Specialty Hospital, but makes dance class at night part of her routine.

“This is their way of escaping,” Conforti said. “This is their place to just be free from all the negative and just really just have fun and be a kid.”

“She's like really fun,” dance student Arissa Waugh said. “She wants to make everything fun for us to do. Make it easy to learn.”

When it comes to costumes, they help those who need it. The school offers nutrition classes, and there are quarterly performances.

And these moms will tell you, their kids flip for it.

“She will come every night of her life if they ask her to,” parent Jill Szczerbinski said. “She loves it. It's a family to us and we love it.”

This dance school is lifting up the community and giving all kids an opportunity to shine through dance.

“It lets you embrace yourself,” student Arissa Waugh said. “Sometimes you can't do that in real life, but when you come to dance class, you can just embrace yourself and dance!”

If you're interested in sponsoring a dancer, or want to learn more about Dance Enterprises, click here.

Also head on over to the Shining Stars page on our website and take a minute to nominate the shining star in your life.

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