A local dance studio is hosting free dance classes and raising money after finding out one of their young dancers was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer.
At the Diamond School of Dance in Eau Claire, dancers of all ages are coming out for jazz, ballet and hip-hop to raise funds while ‘Dancing for Madelyn’.
"My husband and I, we had recently lost our baby back in April and I’d never known how much strength and support an amazing community, how that could help you get through a hard time,” said owner of the dance studio Alicia Knopps.
Knopps said the recent loss showed her the value of community support when dealing with a tragedy, so when she heard one of her dancers was sick, she wanted to help.
"When we heard that Madelyn was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, it immediately just came to me that we should just throw an event for her and just a way that we could surround here with love and support,” said Knopps.
Knopps said the fundraiser for 6-year-old Madelyn Odegard, who recently was diagnosed with Wilms Disease - a cancer of the kidneys, is to show Madelyn the community is thinking of her.
"We hope she gets better!” said Nora Camlek, one of Madelyn’s friends.
Plenty of cards, signs and donations were made in Madelyn’s name.
"What we're hoping to do is just to surround her with love. We hope that she can see that we're all thinking of her an praying for her and we're coming together as a community of friends dancers families throughout the community just to love on her and support her,” said Knopps.
In the end, the dance fundraiser brought in a total of a little more than $3,100