Yvonne Donaghy

Company: The Center For Dance Arts

Location: Torrington

Entrepreneur

Company/organization description

The Center for Dance Arts has been in business for over 32 years and is committed to providing a positive atmosphere where children and adults can learn exceptional dance skills and gain strong self-esteem at rates that are affordable to families. Students learn to build strength, poise and confidence along with courage, creativity and discipline in a positive environment which are invaluable tools to learn in life. We offer classes in acrobatics, ballet, lyrical, jazz, tap, hip-hop & preschool

Tell us about the entrepreneurial milestones you accomplished?

I have owned my studio for 32 years. During that time I have continued to get trained and have received certification in numerous new dance programs. Our studio has raised over $16,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital just since 2018. We have had two articles written in the local newspapers in the last 12 months about our quality dance education and our work for St. Judes hospital. The students have won thousands of awards in regional and national competitions.

What type of entrepreneur are you?

Main Street - local business focus

What CT entrepreneur ecosystem resources have helped you succeed?

I am not certain I understand this question ?

Nominator Justification

Yvonne has owned her dance studio for 25+ years. During Covid her business took a huge financial hit and at first Yvonne was unsure of how she would save her business. After purchasing all of the required signs, sterilizing equipment and putting new guidelines into place, Yvonne reopened her studio with some new additions. Due to daycare closings, Yvonne took in several young children as a help to local families. She proceeded with smaller social distance classes and extended hours.

Education

Company/organization description

WE are a local dance studio training children through adults in dance education. We provide classes for ages 2 and up and we pride ourselves on having well educated instructors.

How do you train, educate or prepare entrepreneurs

I have a young woman teaching for me right now who just recently graduated from C.c..s.u. and she has degrees in business and dance. She has been training under me for 10 years and has learned the in's and out's of dance studio owning. I had two another women who trained under me for many years and both went on to open their own dance studios in the Northwest corner of Ct. With guidance and leadership, I have taught them all to use their own creativity to shape their visions and dreams.

What impact did your program have in 2020?

My program was closed for 4 months due to the covid crisis. Since reopening, I was able to provide a safe and loving environment for my students. The covid crisis had them closed up and away from friends and the studio is a place that allows them the outlet to not only do what they love but to be involved in something positive. Our studio was a safe haven for many of these children. We pride ourselves on offering a wonderful place for them to grow, dance, share and prosper.

Nominator Justification

Yvonne helped some of her students and their siblings with distance learning while local families could not bring their children to school or daycare. She filled a need when know one else did. The Center For Dance Arts

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