Penn Hills dance studio to host fundraiser for Wounded Warrior Project
A Penn Hills dance studio has choreographed a fundraiser benefiting veterans.
The Arthur Murray Dance Centers studio on Rodi Road hopes to raise at least $2,000 for Pittsburgh's Wounded Warrior Project — an organization dedicated to treating veterans who have been injured in conflicts since Sept. 11, 2001.
The event, set for July 6 and open to everyone, will offer beginner classes, dance demonstrations, refreshments and raffle prizes.
Dancing plays a part in the Wounded Warriors Project Odyssey program, which is held at Seven Springs Mountain Resort and aimed at helping combat veterans find solace through outdoor retreats. Dancing — known to decrease stress and anxiety, improve memory and offer emotional benefits — became part of the program two years ago. Since then, more than 100 veterans and their spouses from the Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., areas have benefited from it, said Tom Chimenti, WWP combat stress recovery specialist.
“They learn techniques to take back home with them to get better at socializing and connecting with their spouses,” he said.
Adam Morton, the local studio's lead dance instructor, said working with the “warriors” is a delight.
“A lot of these guys have a hard time connecting with their significant others,” Morton said. “We teach them the basic movements, talk about different love languages, that sort of thing.”
Chimenti said the partnership between WWP and Arthur Murray in Penn Hills will continue beyond the fundraiser this year with additional trips to Seven Springs. In the meantime, Chimenti will support the dance studio's fundraiser by being at the event.
“We want to help them out as much as we can,” Chimenti said. “We just want to raise awareness and reach anybody else who might need their services, even if it's just one person.”