Local businesses organizing charity pageant for holidays

Published 9:28 am Thursday, October 26, 2017

Not even a day removed from their open house, Dancer’s Dreams Performing Arts Academy and Blind Raven Photography were already in the planning process of their next project.

Citizens from across the county descended upon the businesses’ new joint location, located at 305 1st Avenue in Hampton for their open house celebration to commemorate their move on Saturday, Oct. 21.

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Amy Simmons, owner of Dancer’s Dreams, said the response was overwhelming, with multiple community members taking advantage of performances by dancers, free photography sessions and the ability to sign up for upcoming classes at the location.

Coming up, Simmons’ and Blind Raven owner Cati Arwood will host a charity pageant on Saturday, Nov. 18, at their location beginning at noon to help gather donations for a local food bank in the community.

The basic entry fee is $15 for the event, plus one or more donation of either canned pumpkin, canned apples, canned corn, canned sweet potatoes or canned green beans.

While the pageant is a few weeks out, classes in Hampton will start being unveiled on Thursday, Nov. 2. Registration for gymnastics and dance is underway now but an open registration will be held Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 4 to 6 p.m.

For 37 years, Simmons has worked as an expressive dance instructor and group exercise instructor, providing hands-on experience on different styles, including clogging, praise & worship dance, children’s dance, tap, ballet, hip hop, teen tap, creative movement and others.

Prior to her move to the region, Simmons owned a larger dance studio in Virginia and said the chance to open up an academy in the region was high on the list since the move.

“When I moved here, I saw there was a great need,” Simmons recently told the Elizabethton Star. “It really is expense. The goal has been to create programs that stay within parents’ budgets to give children in the community something to do. And the support since the move has been fantastic.

“We’ve gotten a great response so far,” Simmons added. “We recently participating in the Hampton homecoming parade. There have been so many calls since then.”

For more information, contact Simmons at (540) 392-9138, email ddreams2000@aol.com or visit the Dancer’s Dreams Performing Arts Academy Facebook page online.  Appointments for Blind Raven Photography are also available.