Bhar-a-thon: Move, Shake, Communicate
Parents busting moves, guys moving their hips to the sonorous sounds of belly dancing music, children screwing in light bulbs in step with Bhangra—Bhar-a-thon gave shakers of all types and movers of all stripes a chance to dance their hearts out in solidarity with families impacted by ASD in the GTA.
Bhar-a-thon was conceived as a fun South Asian twist on the traditional dance-a-thon, opening doors to the vibrant dances of South Asian genre such as Bhangra and Bharathanaatiyam to fuse with various popular forms such as Hip Hop and Belly Dancing. Pledge collecting participants were eligible for a number of prizes with the top prize of an Apple ipad won by Keisha Joseph,16, of Scarborough. The event (which essentially was a commitment to dance non-stop for three hours in any style of choice) was interspersed with instruction on the hour by dance instructors from a cornucopia of genres. Instructors from the TSA Dance Crew from the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus did an amazing job patiently teaching simple dance steps and routines to participants of all ages.
“This event”, according to SAAAC President Jonathan Bertram, “was the ideal way to bring together the community on a pleasant summer’s day to show support for [children impacted with ASD] through the universal language of dance. In all community initiatives there is no secret formula for success other than finding those commonalities to engage the public.” Bhar-a-thon helped raise over $10,000 in funds to help support the Speech and Dance programs being established for the children at SAAAC. This was only made possible through the generous contributions of Sponsors such as: Spine Care Clinic, Asiyans Textiles & Queen Amato Pizza. The generosity of sponsors who pledged donations to participants must also be commended as well as the tireless efforts of participants themselves both collecting pledges and dancing relentlessly.