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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Shimmy Club Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture

Mission: Serving as a cultural catalyst bringing music, arts, and dance from around the world to local communities, The Shimmy Club, Inc. promotes socially-oriented activities that not only unite families within a particular cultural heritage, but also strengthen our richly diverse communities across these traditions. In keeping with its strong philosophy of inclusiveness and diversity, we offer mixed-ability programming, events, activities and arts education to people having disabilities.

Results: Our current fundraising effort reaches more youth, fosters inclusive practices as successfully applicable in every circumstance and simultaneously expands our arts offerings for all-abilities kids. To these ends, we have successfully implemented PA-TIRIKI-TA, a more varied world dance arts program, and are currently editing film for a documentary that follows this program's inclusive arts experience. PA-TIRIKI-TA; THE FILM is set for screenings to middle and high school students beginning late May 2012.

Target demographics: Children and youth having disabilities between 10-22 years old.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100

Geographic areas served: Miami-Dade County, Broward County

Programs: PA-TIRIKI-TA - A unique opportunity for kids of all abilities to experience self-expression through culturally diverse dance arts and on-stage performance. The program has brought kids together with world-class professional dancers and musicians for immersion in four different dance art forms: Argentine tango, flamenco, Afro-Cuban, and hip-hop/break dancing. Over the course of just a couple months these kids trained and shared the stage with the professionals in four interactive, surprise performances for the highly unsuspecting students at W.J. Bryan Elementary school in North Miami, Florida, during what was typically, their lunch-only period! PA-TIRIKI-TA: THE FILM follows the performing kids, professional artists, elementary school staff and parents involved from rehearsal to stage documenting what can happen when dance becomes a common language and self-expression lets loose. You Move Me Tango - Recognizing music and partner dancing as powerful social and artistic motivators, this program provides Argentine tango classes to youth having visual and/or other exceptionalities. Designed by experienced Argentine tango professionals dedicated to the cause of inclusion, You Move Me Tango has heightened artistic awareness, self-confidence, teamwork and healthy social skills among its participants fostering integration, community awareness and involvement. Miami Tangos - The Shimmy Club, Inc. supports the study of Argentine tango and is committed to furthering the growth of the entire Tango community. Miami Tangos collaborates with local, national and international tango artists/instructors, event promoters and organizers through networking, promotion and production to offer affordable, accessible events.

Community Stories

2 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am happy to say that I have see the product of the Shimmy Club's hard work and committment to the children that they teach. Their patience and generosity towards those kids is unsurpassed. The Shimmy Club provides an opportunity to children to experience a different form of expression...one that affords them the ability to express themselves from the heart in ways they never would otherwise be able to. To be able to see the fruits of the Shimmy Club's efforts has been a true priviledge to me.

Chino H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

5 years ago, when my husband started to work for The Shimmy Club teaching Argentine tango to youth having visual impairments, I accompanied him to the classes. I knew that these children had disabilities, but I wasn't prepared how challenging teaching was going to be for my husband. Mostly the children are legally blind, but they also have multiple physical disabilities, coupled with intellectual challenges. Most of them couldn't tell if their left and right feet were together or not. Some of them even had trouble standing still. In addition, they were either shy or angry and seemed unsure of themselves. I always thought that this project was good because it gave them something to do and I also thought, some of them who are not completely blind might even learn to dance. Over the years my husband would tell me that the children had changed a lot - their posture changed, they laughed more and were more agreeable. I was most surprised when I saw them 2 years ago at one of the Shimmy Club's fundraising event. Just before the show started, I overheard one of the children say that she was absolutely excited and nervous at the same time. Their performance was absolutely touching. It was amazing to see children who are blind dance Argentine Tango (something not easy even for adults with no disabilities to learn!) They looked alive and proud of themselves. Watching them dance brought tears to my eyes. They were no longer stopped by their disabilities. This project is AMAZING and deserves every support. I hope that this kind of support becomes available to all children who need help around the world.