Louisiana Flooding—4 Ways You Can Help Local Dancers

August 28, 2016

Image from Ballet Acadiana on Facebook.

Earlier this month, sudden, widespread flooding across Louisiana devastated the state. Thousands have lost their homes in what is being termed the worst natural disaster to hit the United States since Hurricane Sandy four years ago. Now, a few weeks into recovery efforts, residents are attempting to return to normalcy—and for local dancers, this means getting back to the studio.

The dance community is already banding together to find creative ways to help rebuild. In my hometown of Lafayette, LA, Ballet Acadiana provided free child care to allow parents to work on cleaning up their homes. Efforts like this go a long way, but local studios and dancers still need our help. Here are three easy things you can do to assist the Louisiana dance community.

Some of the damages to En Pointe Dance Studio. Image via Facebook.

Stuff a dance bag. 
In Baton Rouge, LA, Ballet Victorian Dance Studio is hosting an ongoing dance clothing and supply drive. They are asking those who are able to “stuff a dance bag” with everything from tights to jazz shoes to knee pads. En Pointe Dance Studio, Flesh Dance Company and Art Stars are among the organizations that will be receiving these donations. Monetary contributions are also being accepted. Visit the link above, or email Roxi Victorian at [email protected] for more info.

Image from Lafayette Ballet Theatre on Facebook.

Give a leotard. 
In Lafayette, many studios that did not suffer significant damage are back to normal operation. Lafayette Ballet Theatre, the city’s professional ballet company, reports that their facilities largely escaped unscathed, losing only a few Nutcracker costumes. LBT and their affiliated school, Dance Conservatory, are currently hosting a leotard drive to assist local dancers with getting back to ballet class. Email [email protected] to find out how you can help.

Contribute to Creative Relief. 
The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge is directing donations made to their Creative Relief Fund to artists impacted by the flooding. Delta Festival Ballet and Giacobbe Academy of Dance in Metairie, LA (just outside of New Orleans) have partnered with the Arts Council to collect new and gently used dance clothing, shoes and supplies to be distributed to Baton Rouge area dancers. Donate to CRF through the link above, or email Carrie J. Brown at [email protected] for information on how to contribute to the drive.

Donate to the recovery effort.
 American Red Cross is accepting donations to directly assist with relief efforts in Louisiana. Large numbers of homes and businesses have been destroyed, with many still relying on shelters while damages are assessed and rebuilding begins. Any amount makes a huge difference. Donate here.

Keep dancing, Louisiana.


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