Inaugural dance fundraiser to benefit Skyla

By Angie Hilsman | Jul 11, 2017
Courtesy of: Paula Perry Szyndler Skyla attends a local dance competition to support her team and be featured on stage.

For the past five years, Paula Perry Szyndler has dreamed of creating a foundation that features united dance companies instead of competing ones.

The dance teacher and owner of I’ve Got Rhythm Dance Center and Dancer’s Edge has transformed the idea to reality. The Move With Us Project will hold its first show on July 16, and it will benefit one of Szyndler's students who was struck by a car.

"This dream became a nightmare on January 5, when Skyla [Lynk-Romano] got hit. I knew that this is where the foundation would begin," said Szyndler.

Lynk-Romano — then a 14-year-old freshman at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School — was struck while crossing from Dancer's Edge on Dartmouth Street to the opposing Buckley Moniz Travel parking lot, where her father was waiting for her on January 5.

[Related: Hit-and-run driver will not serve jail time]

While Lynk-Romano is healing, medical, physical therapy, and tutoring expenses are piling up. Szyndler aims to raise $5,000 through the benefit performance to support those needs, she said.

The show will open with about 85 dancers — from nine different Southern New England-based dance schools — performing together under New York City Choreographer Buddy Casimano's instruction, Szyndler said.

Each school brought their own dance numbers too, totaling 28 routines for the show, she said. Between performances, raffles will be held for items including The Pasta House, Fay's Restaurant, and Pampered Chef gift certificates.

The July 16 show will be held at White’s of Westport, located at 66 State Road, at 4 p.m. Tickets are $20, and can be purchased at both the I’ve Got Rhythm Dance Studio (331 State Road, Dartmouth) and at the door.

Donations can also be made to the Skyla Strong Fund at BayCoast Bank, located at 299 State Road.

Looking ahead, Szyndler hopes to continue fundraising for worthy causes through the Move With Us Project. She said each year will support a different child in need.

"I want all children to have the opportunity to learn the feeling of being united because where there is unity, there is always victory," said Szyndler.

Next year, she hopes to add master dance classes with guest artists, she said.

This year's participating dance schools include Dance Express (Easton, MA), Defying Gravity (Cranston, RI), Dream Believe Achieve (New Hartford, CT), I've got Rhythm Dance Center (Dartmouth, MA), Kaleidoscope Dance & Gymnastics (Wareham, MA), Michelle's Studio of Dance (East Bridgewater, MA), The Dance Clinic (New Bedford, MA), The Dancer's Edge (Dartmouth, MA), and Warwick Dance & Gymnastics (Warwick, RI).

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