CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) – A local dance studio is raising money to help Ukrainians recover from the Russian invasion.
The Fred Astaire Dance Studio in North Chesterfield will host a fundraising dance party for Ukrainian families next week.
Studio co-owner Maggie Small said she’s holding the event to show her support for those who need it most.
The studio has served approximately 400 people over the past six months.
Small said their five dance teachers were Ukrainians and they still had family members in the country during the war.
“We hope to rally and transform the gracious support already felt by our students in every lesson into making a tangible difference for those in need,” she said.
Alina Suvidova, one of the first dance teachers to join the studio when it opened in 2018, said she felt helpless when it came to doing things for Ukrainian families in need.
“This idea of a fundraising event for Astaire Richmond was like a sunrise for us. Like Yes! We are now seeing how we can help families in need,” she said.
Suvidova said the last time she saw her family was four years ago, before she left the country to settle in Virginia. She said times were tough for not seeing her family so often, especially since she is expecting a baby.
” My family is fine. They had a tough time when there was fighting in their town, but right now it’s getting calmer and my family actually volunteered to help other people who needed help,” he said. she declared.
Small said local businesses were donating door prizes for the event, including tickets to the Richmond Ballet and meals at select restaurants.
All donations and proceeds from ticket sales will be divided between each Ukrainian instructor, and they will ultimately decide how to use the funds to help their families or Ukrainian charities.
“We’re absolutely going to dance the night away,” she said. “Fred Astaire Dance Studio Richmond is a comfort in the face of life’s challenges for our students and it’s important to us that instructors can feel that too.”
The fundraiser will take place on Friday, March 11 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $45 at the door and refreshments will be served.
“We’re preparing something special, something on a Ukrainian song, something really special for everyone to see and feel what it’s like to be Ukrainian,” Suvidova said.