Although dance classes have a long history at YWCA Greater Lafayette, the current Y-Dance program began in 2003 with one teacher and 16 students. It has grown year after year and along the way has adapted to the needs of our community. The Y-Dance program undergoes changes as the numbers, needs, and desires of its dancers continue to grow, as evident by our expanding dance classes.
Whether the goal is to dance at a recreational level “just for fun,” or for those who foresee themselves on competitive dance teams, in musical theatre, undertaking auditions, or who want to take dance to a higher level, Y-Dance has something for everyone. We offer Fusion (ballet/jazz combined), Tap, Ballet, and Hip Hop with classes available from ages 3 to Adult. We have three semesters available for registration each year. Beginning in January, a 15-week semester ends in May with a BIG recital at The Long Center for the Performing Arts with all the glitz and glam of real show biz! In summer, we offer different age themed three-day camps. These fun camps are a great way to expose kids to dance and test the waters of our program. Our last semester is 12 weeks from September – December and includes a few optional performance opportunities in our community and ends with an in-house showcase the last week of classes.
Our philosophy is:
- To provide an atmosphere of discipline and structure
- To make each dancer feel loved, valued, and empowered
- To be a fun, enjoyable learning experience
- To enhance dancers’ coordination, dance, creativity, technique, and memory skills
With an audience full of guests for the 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. shows on May 6th, 165 performers took the stage in 26 routines to show off all they had learned for the Winter 2023 semester. We are so thankful for the 12 staff members and 71 volunteers that helped make the show go smoothly. We opened the treasure chest of nostalgic, vintage, and new toys. Each routine was centered around a toy; rubber duck, Trolls, and toy soldiers. It was so fun to see our dancers gain confidence and strength over the 15-week semester and then perform on stage at The Long Center for the Performing Arts with the lights, stage, and costumes. It was a day full of joy and excitement.
Similar to a popular sandwich franchise, YWCA Greater Lafayette can also tout delicious free smells coming from our licensed commissary kitchen. With 12 licensed vendors utilizing our kitchen as their prep space, it is common to smell sweet baked goods, savory breads, fresh waffles, and spicy Mexican and Italian dishes along with healthy, homemade meals in the halls of YWCA.
It is YWCA Greater Lafayette’s mission to provide this commissary kitchen to culinary entrepreneurs to start their businesses and empower them to grow to their potential. YWCA Greater Lafayette is one of very few commissary kitchens in the community. It is inspected and certified by the Tippecanoe County Health Department annually, and each vendor is individually certified. We have worked to provide continued growth in the area, and this year we are proud to offer the space to 12 different vendors. These vendors include:
Blackdog BBQ • El Carmen, LLC • El Mata Antojos • Live your Fit
Lyd the Baker • Maggie’s Kitchen • Rollin’ in Dough • Tacos Mexico
Cappelleri Sunday Sauce • The Brittle Co. • Wild School Market
EMT (Emergency Munchie Truck)
The Emergency Munchie Truck, owned by Amber Davis, is our longest-standing vendor who has received this community’s best food truck award three years in a row.
YWCA values growth, empowerment, and opportunities. To help offset vendor fees, scholarship funds from our Foundation are used as the vendors work to start up their businesses. Some of these vendors have moved on to create their own brick and mortar storefronts like Sweet Revolution and Two Guys Bakery and Catering. Other vendors you can find at local events, Farmer’s Markets and even markets in Indianapolis!
For more information about these progams, visit the YWCA Greater Lafayette website.