What would the world be like if all young people entered adulthood with a supportive community behind them that fostered curiosity, strength, courage and resilience?

This fall, we spoke with Mackenzie, a scholarship student who danced at SADC from ages eight to eighteen. We saw Mackenzie transform and grow as a person and dancer over a decade in our supportive and nurturing programs.


We asked her to reflect on the experience:

Photos: Tony Nguyen

“I have developed skills across many styles of dance, but it is more the willingness to take on new challenges that I have cultivated through dance, which has given me the courage to close my eyes, and leap into the unknown.


Dance liberated me of the worry that my anxiety caused me...it feels as if dance is my breath. Anxiety often feels like you have a knot in your stomach or rock in your throat. When I am dancing I can breathe, and I can move, and it feels amazing.


The main lesson I will take away from SADC is acceptance. It has taught me that everyone is beautiful in their own way and that everyone has something to offer. Dancing at SADC has taught me how to trust others. I am able to be a more trusting person, give support to peers and receive support in return.”


SADC has been offering powerful experiences for youth and adult dancers of all genders from beginners through professionals since 1958. These students come from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, and for some of their families, tuition can be a challenge. We created the May O'Donnell Youth Scholarship program so that no family needs to decide about dance education based solely on money. The program provides $40,000 in tuition for dance education for over 200 students each year.


Making a tax-deductible donation now to the scholarship fund will bring dance into the lives of young people like Mackenzie as they find their voices, their footing and confidence, and prepare to take their first steps as adults in this world.


For 60 years, SADC has been a home for dance - a refuge for art and expression. We believe that by offering dance in a supportive, human-centered environment, we can also serve as a catalyst for a brighter future. Your support today helps give young dancers of all backgrounds and means the opportunity to discover the curiosity, strength, courage, resilience and community through dance that they will need to make that future a reality.


With gratitude,

Rebecca Johnson  &  Jill Randall

Executive Director     Artistic Director