The Setbacks and Celebrations of Dancing With Our Sierra Stars

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By April Marriner

On May 11, InnerRhythms is thrilled to again host Dancing With Our Sierra Stars, its biggest fundraiser of the year where eight of our local Sierra Stars will be partnered with a professional dancer to perform a captivating ballroom routine. This is a night of glamour, philanthropy, ballroom, and community.

As we prepare for another entertaining and beautiful evening, we can’t help but share with our community the challenges we’ve faced as a nonprofit committed to ensuring dance is available for everyone. As posted on our Facebook page in November, our online ticket vendor for our 2023 Dancing With Our Sierra Stars, Brown Paper Tickets, failed to disperse over $13,000 in ticket sale funds for no stated reason. Our incredible executive director tried all mechanisms to reach the company, but phones had been disconnected and we received no response.

After some time, we learned that Brown Paper Tickets is currently being acquired by events.com, and we shifted our approach to contacting events.com for support. After multiple attempts, we were finally told that our fundraising dollars would be dispersed. While the timeline continues to be extended, our latest update is that we should see these funds by March. Unfortunately, we are not the only nonprofit impacted by this.

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Our community was so generous coming out to support our dancers and it is beyond disheartening that these corporations are withholding funds from small nonprofits without explanation.

While we are hopeful that these funds will indeed reach us by March, this delay was challenging for us given that we’d counted on this revenue for our 2023 programming. Fundraising dollars support scholarships at InnerRhythms to ensure that no dancer is turned away. They support our goal to make all of our inclusive dance classes free to our dancers with developmental delays, and allow us to keep our Forever Young classes free for our dancers who are 55 and older. We could not offer these incredible programs without support from our community.

We will not let this setback slow us down in our mission to ensure that dance is for everyone. And with this, we hope you will join us for our 2024 event and show your support for an incredible organization dedicated to cultivating a warm environment designed to foster confidence and self-esteem.

If you’re looking for a way to support InnerRhythms, purchase a ticket for Dancing with Our Sierra Stars on May 11, consider a sponsorship, and if you are able, donate today. Your donation encourages all of our students of any age and ability to explore and grow in the performance art that brings them joy and passion. Small nonprofits like us rely on community support so we can continue serving the community with inclusive and engaging programs.

Visit innerrhythms.org or email info@innerrhythms.org to learn more.

~ April Marriner is the founding creative director of the marketing and design agency Bonfire Collaborative based in Truckee. She found her groove at InnerRhythms while supporting her daughter’s dance journey. Embraced by the studio’s supportive atmosphere, she joined the board in 2017. You can find her rewiring her synapses in InnerRhythms’s adult dance classes.

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