My name is Elka Hristova. I am the co-founder of DanceSport Education, an Arizona non-profit organization that brings the benefits of ballroom dance directly to the students, at their schools, in their classrooms. Ask me anything!

Elka Hristova
Jul 16, 2018

I am a management consultant by trade, specializing in small business start-ups, growth, strategic planning and financial recovery, with the biggest account - charter schools. My company is responsible for the creation, growth and strategic expansion of some of the best charter schools in Arizona, some of them topping the national charts.

But my passion, ballroom dance brought me to DanceSport Education. Coming from Europe (Bulgaria), I never thought that as an adult, I would be able to achieve one of my dreams - competitive ballroom dancing/dancesport. In Europe, if you have not started young in that direction, there are no opportunities in this sports afterwards. In the US, it is just the opposite - there are plenty of opportunities for adults in ballroom dance, and almost non-existent opportunities for kids. A major reason for that is the knowledge for dancesport, its availability, accessibility and huge financial barriers.

In 2016 we established DanceSport Education. Two powerful businesses - One in DanceSport - Imperial Ballroom, and one in Education -Education Team Partners (my company) joined forces and brought top-level management, organizational and ballroom dance expertise together. We work with a distinguished Advisory Board to guide us in our mission! 

DanceSport Education is an Arizona not for profit 501 (c) (3) organization. Our mission is to positively impact the lives of children and youth through ballroom dance.

WHAT WE DO

  • We bring ballroom dance with its many benefits to children ages 4 through 18 directly to their schools, in their classrooms. Our YouTube Channel
  • We engage long-term with the schools and their students. Our Twitter
  • We outreach to ALL students, including at-risk, low-income and students with special needs. Our Facebook
  • We offer complete DanceSport curriculum with a proven instructional methodology and top-rated, world-class professionals as our instructors. Our Instagram

OUR PROGRAM - #NotJustDance

DanceSport Education™ offers a complete DanceSport program for children and youth ages 4-18 with a systematic, specific, and sequenced curriculum. It is delivered with a proven instructional methodology by world-class DanceSport professionals, affiliated with and certified by Imperial DanceSport Instruction. The program is tailored to allow students to grow, learn, enrich and achieve as they participate.

However, this can be achieved with substantial philanthropic effort in two major areas: (1) increase outreach and (2) alleviate barriers to access.

With the current trends of diminishing public funding for sports and arts programs, and the inability of many parents to privately afford those, especially in low-income, at risk school communities, children and youth remain negatively impacted and are deprived of participating and experiencing the benefits of those opportunities. This also includes the students, who are homeschooled or study in distance learning programs, as well as those with special needs, for whom we will provide a venue so that they have access and opportunity to participate in those activities. 

We currently have 3 schools, that we are involved long-term. Two of them are located in the poorest areas of Phoenix. We are in our second year of program operation. It is a challenge, but at the same time, our satisfaction of working with the students is tremendous! They love the program and look forward to each and every one of their ballroom classes. The teachers and the school leadership recognize and witness firsthand the benefits of the DanceSport Education, as the students experience them! We get big support from the parents as well!

Ask me about my ideas, plans, the non-profit organization, ballroom dance, the schools, the students, our instructors, our supporters, our black-tie fundraising event, how you can get involved, ask me anything!



Elka Hristova says:

This AMA will end Aug 31, 2018 7:10PM EDT

What is the Vibe of this AMA? What is AMA Vibe?

Conversation (70)

In three easy steps and under a minute you could be hosting your own AMA. Join our passionate community of AMA hosts and schedule your own AMA today.

Let's get started!

Do you incorporate consent teaching into your ballroom dance classes? If so, how?

Aug 13, 9:53AM EDT0

Laura, thank you for your question! A very interesting question that made me reflect upon our classes and articulate in writing how we do that. I have been present in all those situations and can write from first hand expereince.

Please, allow me some time to anser, as we actually do that very successfully, so far without any hard core lecturing, but creating the desired culture and my modelling the desired behavior. Our instructors are world-class, top-rated and do that! I would like to pull out video material as well.  I will send the entire answer in a separate reply.

Elka Hristova

Aug 14, 8:14PM EDT0
What other sports your organization includes to engage kids that are not interested in dancing?
Jul 31, 1:50PM EDT0
How do you help parents to make their kids develop an interest in dancing?
Jul 31, 12:54PM EDT0
When a kid starts displaying a natural talent for dancing, are they encouraged by your organization to start a more formal training? Does DanceSport Education have the infrastructure to take in talented kids for formal training?
Jul 31, 11:24AM EDT0
How many hours a day should kids train any sport in order to keep them interested and improving?
Jul 31, 7:41AM EDT0
Have you encountered conflicts between parents and children with regard to the interest in the dance program? How do you handle the children who have shown interest but have faced resistance from the parents?
Jul 27, 5:10AM EDT0
For a parent who does not see the importance of enrolling her child in the dance program, what would you tell her?
Jul 27, 5:10AM EDT0
What do you think are some of the reasons why children may not have access to your services?
Jul 26, 1:46PM EDT0
What are some of the challenges you have faced with parents in regard to dance and their children?
Jul 26, 4:51AM EDT0
What role has the community played, especially those surrounding the schools you are working with?
Jul 26, 2:02AM EDT0
What are you doing to encourage communities in your area of operation to bring in their children so as to boost the impact of dance on the children?
Jul 25, 4:59AM EDT0
What kind of impact has the combination of dance and education had to the kids?
Jul 24, 12:11PM EDT0
Do you think marketing dance as a way of keeping the youth busy and away from potentially harmful habits would encourage more parents to enrol their children?
Jul 24, 12:31AM EDT0
What are your long term goals with the dance project especially with the dance students who are keen to grow in dance?
Jul 23, 11:12PM EDT1
If you had enough funding, what expansion plans would you execute?
Jul 23, 8:41AM EDT0
What feed back have you received from parents and children to encourage you to keep going?
Jul 21, 4:50PM EDT0
Do you have plans to include all age groups especially for children who would wish to continue with the dance classes?
Jul 21, 8:45AM EDT0

Dear Freinds,

I have received your questions. And I continue to receive questions every day. They are great questions, touching so deep into the mission of DanceSport Education. I will take the time to answer each and everyone of them, as they help tremendously to reveal and explain and show what we do, how we do it and exactly how our activities, aligned with our mission help to positively impact young lives.

Reading through the questions over and over, I do not believe that I can casually provide answers to them. Even the personal ones. I represent myself, but most importantly I represent the  organization, DanceSport Education, which I co-founded and provided the vision for it, and I want to represnt it with the same quality and excellence we approach the implementation of our mission.

Thank you! 

Sincerely,

Elka Hristova, co-founder of DanceSport Education

Last edited @ Jul 18, 10:00PM EDT.
Jul 18, 10:00PM EDT0
How could those interested find out more about your NGO? How can people contribute and where will their money go?
Jul 17, 9:17PM EDT1

Thank you very much for your questions!

A. If somebody would like to learn more about DanceSport Education, and our organization and activities, and events, blogs…..here is how they can do it:

1. We have a beautiful Web Page, where we explain our organization and programs and activities and events. 😊

2. From there they can navigate to our Facebook Page , where we post a lot of content, pictures and videos of our work at the schools. If you like what you see, you may decide to support us by sending us a “Like”. We would very much appreciate that. All our “likes” are organic. 😊

3. You can choose to Follow us on Twitter and receive notifications of our posts and activity. 😊

4. You can also visit our Instagram and become one of our followers. 😊

5. You can enjoy our YouTube Channel,  watching our professionals deliver instruction to the students at the schools, watch as the students learn, watch their performances at their special events. This is actual video material, unedited, as it has happened. Most of it I personally took while on site visits at the schools. 😊

6. We just started our presence on Pinterest. We are preparing some very interesting boards and uploading exciting pins, such as “Masters of Movement” (for our professionals), or “Become the Dance” (to reveal the power of motivation in dance), etc. Become one of our followers. 😊

7. And of course, you can find us on Google+ . 😊

B. If somebody is interested to contribute to our organization, here is how they can do it:

DanceSport Education is an Arizona Non-Profit Tax-Exempt organization under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and contributions are tax-deductible. We accept donations of any amount at all times.

We issue Donation Certificates with all the legal information that is needed for tax deduction. Our non-profit is registered with the major nonprofit databases, such as Guidestar.org. We are a verified non-profit by Facebook and we have been approved for the Donation button on our FB page. We are registered as an eligible non-profit in Arizona Gives Day and on Black Tuesday Day.

If you are from Arizona, you can additionally support the DanceSport Education program directly to the school through the AZ Education Tax Credit  WITHOUT costing you a penny. You can Re-Direct Your AZ State Taxes and take charge of where your tax dollars go. You will receive a DOLLAR-FOR-DOLLAR CREDIT on your state taxes and support a cause - help create an impact in the lives of children and youth through ballroom dance. Support our schools: Mission Montessori Schools, Create Academy and SySTEM Schools! Write a check today!

We provide several opportunities to support our organization:

Cash and Checks: Please, send a check to: DanceSport Education, 604 E Balboa Dr, Tempe AZ, 85282

Credit Card: We accept all major credit cards: American Express, Visa, Master Card and Discover.

Click on the DONATE NOW  button to make a credit card contribution online at our secure terminal.  

C. If somebody is interested to learn where their contribution money would go:

Last fiscal year, we had $32,000 in charitable contributions, major portion of which came through our flagship end-of the year fundraising event Masquerade Ball Gala.  Our largest donation was $5,000 and our smallest $20. We are very much appreciative of any amount of donation. We are proud of our sponsors, as they are proud to support us in our mission.

"Musicology is a proud sponsor of DanceSport Education, which takes the gift of music and ballroom dancing into underserved schools in our community. Through hard work and commitment, children as young as 4 years old learn coordination, discipline, social skills, confidence and self-esteem...all through the joy of dancing. THIS gives us something to sing about!" Mary Goodman, Owner

90% of all charitable contributions support our work directly in the classroom in the low-income communities. In higher income areas, parents cover the costs for the classes. We are working with potential donors to establish a separate donor supported income stream for the development of competitive, young dancesport talent. We see a lot of this talent, and we would like to be able to support it in a meaningful way. We have only 10% administrative costs.

Below is our wish list with estimates:

$10,000

  • Brings the DanceSport Education program to 100 low-income students for 1 school year

$5,000

  • Brings the DanceSport Education program to 100 low-income students for one semester

$1,000 

  • Brings the DanceSport Education program to a classroom of low-income children for 1 semester
  • Covers the costs for 1 end of school year event
  • Helps train 1 incoming teacher in the program’s curriculum and instructional methodology
  • Covers the costs for social media post boost outreach for 1 year
  • Covers the costs for 1 video production explaining the benefits of ballroom dance

$500

  • Covers 1 demo session for entire school campus
  • Covers 1 parent education night
  • Covers 1 Prom-Preparation session for 25 high-school students
  • Covers the printing of 2500 color brochures explaining the program benefits

Please, visit our website and the “Support Us” section to learn more. 

Thank you in advance for your support!

Last edited @ Jul 19, 6:37AM EDT.
Jul 19, 6:35AM EDT0
Does your project encounter or address gender-based inequality through dance education? If so, how?
Jul 17, 5:01PM EDT1
Ask your question
About #NonprofitAMA

Welcome to #NonprofitAMA, an AMA channel all about Nonprofits, NGOs and social causes.

The #NonprofitAMA channel (http://www.NonprofitAMA.com) is owned and operated by AMAfeed, LLC.