Dance It Up with Music is not your typical studio. Sure, kids learn about dance and music here, but how many studios make dance and music a vehicle for learning the positive life lessons of giving alongside those of determination, motivation, self-confidence, discipline, time management, and respect for themselves and their peers?
You see, anyone can learn the moves and steps of a dance. And some can take these moves into competitions and win trophies. But Jennifer Chin, owner of Dance It Up with Music on Route 33 in Hamilton, is looking to use dance to better the world. The studio, now in its 10th year — and entering its second in its sparkling new 5,000-square-foot space — hosts events and recitals to raise money for charitable causes and imparts lessons on respect and positivity as it teaches some awesome moves.
Dance It Up with Music operates a charitable endeavor called Charity of Choice, in which the parents and studio staff sit down and figure out which charitable cause to give to every year. Over the last 10 years, the studio has raised more than $18,000 for various causes. And Chin is in the process of getting Charity of Choice registered as a formal 501(c)3 charitable organization. In October, Dance It Up with Music is hosting “Hip Hop for Hope” to raise money for breast cancer research.
Known among her students’ parents and her peers as “Positive Polly,” Chin has charity and giving in her blood. “My parents were very big on giving back,” she says. “So it was always second-nature to me. I always teach my students to recognize how lucky they are to have what they have.”
Also second-nature is to be part of a larger effort to bring positivity, generosity, and good character to the world. “People say it takes a village to raise a child,” Chin says. “It really does.”
Over the past couple years, the school has introduced private and group music programs to help reach kids at an early age (classes start as young as 18 months) how to incorporate more creativity into their lives “and is honored to be able to offer the amazing group music program Music FUNTIME. The approach, Chin says, is geared from the Johns-Hopkins Research that children 7 and under can learn to read music notation and symbols, eventually, learning to play instruments.
And with all that music comes the effort to make those minds kinder, more creative, and more generous. “I can teach anyone to be a great dancer or musician but work ethic, perseverance, ambition, and goodness needs to be instilled while they are young,” she says.
Dance It Up with Music, 1800 Route 33, Hamilton Square. 609-581-0808. www.danceitupstudios.com.