Two Passions Collide
Standing in the middle of her dance studio, pinky toe showing through her worn ballet slippers, black satin skirt and slicked back hair, dance teacher Laura MacCartie reminisces about the day she put her two passions together: Dance and Charity.
“I’ve always been in love with dance,” said MacCartie, “It’s not just something physical for me but emotional. It is my outlet.”
MacCartie, 40, grew up in Chicago and danced since she was three years old. She danced in the styles of jazz, lyrical, and tap. Growing up she always knew that she would continue to dance into her adult years and one day own her own studio.
Today, MacCartie is a dance teacher at South County Dance Company in Orange County, CA and has founded a dance company called M Dance Events.
However, when it was time for her to attend Elmhurst College in Chicago she had a choice to make.
“My dad told me I couldn’t go to college for a dance degree, that I needed something substantial to fall back on,” said MacCartie “So I compromised, I got my degree in business management and kinesiology and danced outside of school, knowing that one day I would find a way to mesh my degree and dance together.”
After college, she got married, moved to California and started to grow a family. She taught at local dance studios and became a member of The National Charity League with her daughter, Kylee. The National Charity League is a nonprofit organization. After many years of participating in NCL, she decided that she wanted to do more.
Her daughter was her inspiration; she watched her daughter grow in the dance industry and realized with a hectic school schedule, dance practices and weekly competitions, they didn’t have much time to fully invest in NCL. MacCartie wanted more. She always believed that being able to give back is important and a trait she wanted to instill within her kids.
Alongside with long time friend, dance mom and co- worker Dana Maas, M Dance events started.
“Laura and I knew that we both wanted to partner up one day on a big project, it took over a year of hard work, dedication and money,” said Maas,“ But, what we put together I am so proud of.”
M Dance events is an organization that offers workshops and master classes to local students in the community. Dance 2 Inspire, Morning 2 Dance and Dance 2 Give are just some of the events they offer. All these activities are centered around teaching children not only dance, but giving back.
“It’s important to teach children to be well rounded, that not everyone has the same equal opportunities as everyone else,” said Maas.
This past September M Dance Events held their first Dance 2 Inspire event. A local workshop in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA. Four master dance choreographers and over 50 dancers attended.
“We were happy with the amount of dancers that attended, next event we hope for have at least 150 dancer,” said MacCartie.
The event also hosted a bake sale where all proceeds went to a local charity M Dance Events sponsored. Also, half of the tickets sales went to the Jesse Reese Foundation. They had six dancers from Miracle for Kids dance alongside other dancers and professionals for the very first time.
“ I like dancing,” said Emma Elsasser,“Miss Laura has taught me for a long time and my brother who had cancer was a member of the Jesse Reese Foundation, so I’m happy to give back.”
MacCartie and Maas both hope that in the future M Dance Events will continue to grow, hosts more events and work with more charities. Their first Dance 2 Give event will be organized in February, an event that gives kids opportunity to showcase their competitive dance routine and get instant feedback from industry professionals. They will also donate half of ticket sales to a local charity (that is undecided.)
“Dance instills confidence, and it teaches you how to fall and get back up again. It teaches you about leadership, teamwork, and finding a creative outlet to manage your emotions,” said MacCartie “It doesn’t matter where you come from, what you do, or who you are because dance sees no boundaries in the world.”
For information on D Dance Events and workshops, go to MDanceEvents.com