South Jersey mom and entrepreneur breaking down barriers with dance – CBS Philly

MAPLE SHADE, NJ (CBS) – Meet a New Jersey mom and entrepreneur who is breaking barriers with dance. When Dana Ampy started dancing at the age of 4, she never thought it would become a part of her life story.

“It was one of those things I couldn’t shake,” Dana Ampy, owner Pumped up to dance, called. “I thought I would give it up in high school, but then I went to high school to dance. I thought I would give up in college, but then I ended up in college dancing.”

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Now a mother herself, Ampy struggled to find classes for her daughter.

“When I moved to Maple Shade, New Jersey, I realized that there wasn’t a place where a lot of people of color attended dance studios,” she said.

So this entrepreneur and community activist opened Amped to Dance Studio, determined to make dance a safe haven for anyone who wants to try it.

“We have students of all races, backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses,” Ampy said. “When the students walk into the studio, they don’t have to feel like a weirdo, they don’t have to feel like they don’t fit in and don’t belong.”

While COVID initially delayed her plans, she kept the faith and launched in July 2020.

“Now we are in our second season and we have over 77 children. That’s amazing,” Ampy said.

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“It changed everything about dancing for me,” said grad student A’lannah of Willingboro.

12-year-old A’lannah says it’s not just the poses and exercises she learns that make a difference.

“I heard what she said and it really inspired me to just keep going,” A’lannah said.

“I wanted to show other black girls, other women, that no matter what society says, no matter what the textbooks say, you can do it too, and you can do it too,” Ampy said.

If you can’t attend one of her classes, Ampy’s message is simple: “Never stop moving your feet” and “If you stumble — make it a part of your dance.”

“It’s not enough just to believe,” Ampy said. “You have to believe, but whatever you set your mind to, you can achieve and that’s exactly what we’ve done here at Amped to Dance.”

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For more information on Amped to Dance, see click here.

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