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8th Annual
Dance to Make a Difference Charity Gala

benefiting Homeless Backpacks

February 20, 2016
The Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts

Save the date for the 8th Annual Dance to Make a Difference Charity Gala featuring dance companies from across the Puget Sound. The reception begins at 6:00pm and includes a light dinner, dessert, wine and live music. The performance on the main stage follows at 8:00pm. We will hold a silent auction and raffle. All net proceeds from the event will be donated to this year's chosen charity Homeless Backpacks.

Participating companies in this year's gala includes: 3rd Shift Dance, Ballet Northwest, EDGE, Evergreen City Ballet, Ktisk Contemporary Dance, Southwest Washington Dance Ensemble, Studio West Dance Theatre, and Washington Contemporary Ballet.

Charity Gala Sponsors

Thank you to our generous sponsors for their support of the Charity Gala and Homeless Backpacks.    


Homeless Backpacks

Homeless Backpacks provides weekend food for low income and homeless teens in Thurston County, giving teens the help they need so they can focus on school, go on to graduate and become contributing citizens. Currently, we volunteer monthly with Homeless Backpacks to pack food for school delivery. We will hold a food drive for Homeless Backpacks in January. To learn more about the important work of this organization, click on the backpack below:


Connecting our Community through Volunteerism and Dance 

Studio West Dance Academy hosted the first Dance to Make a Difference charity event when the studio first opened its doors in the fall of 2008. Hurricane Katrina had recently devastated much of Louisiana and we donated the proceeds to the Red Cross relief effort. Currently, the gala is produced by the Studio West Dance Guild. We have focused our efforts towards local charities such as the Thurston County Food Bank, Hands On Children's Museum, Safe Place, and Homeless Backpacks. Partnering with a local charity allows us to work with the organization throughout the year to build community awareness and assist their efforts through volunteering support.

Our goals for the Dance to Make a Difference program are:

  • Raise funds and create awareness for local charities within our community. In addition to donating all the proceeds from the gala, we inform our community on the charity and their events through our website, Facebook, and at our performances.
  • Introduce the audience to diverse creative works from dance companies across the Puget Sound.
  • Instill a tradition of volunteering and community involvement in our young dancers and supporters. 

Sponsorships and Donations to the Gala

Please consider becoming a sponsor for the gala or donating items to the reception and auction. For more information, please email