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Barb’s Centre for Dance gives back to community

By Annette Aubinger

ASHWAUBENON – Looking forward for the opportunity to perform and striving to make every member of Barb’s Centre for Dance (BCFD) become a special member of the dance family is the goal of Barb Cedergren who owns BCFD along with her husband Pete. Barb is also director of dance instruction.

“If you teach kids how to give back and they are blessed to be able to give back, it gives more meaning to dancing. I want to teach the kids how to be amazing human beings,” Cedergren said.

Cedergren started her dance studio because she wanted to get involved in the community. She wanted to teach kids to use the gift of dance. She also wanted to raise awareness of the needs in the community.

Raising awareness and presenting an annual holiday production, “Spirit of Holidays, A Celebration of Dance” is one of the ways Cedergren does this.

That production was held again last Saturday, Dec. 2, at the Meyer Theatre.

This is her 19th year she has done the production.

The production showcases the talents of her young dancers during the holiday season.

All profits generated from the shows including a silent auction, bake sale and ticket sales are donated to local charities. Cedergren’s total charitable contribution from last year’s Green Bay and Fox Valley shows was $30,377.

She hopes to raise as much if not more this year.

Over the past 19 years the combines shows have raised over $245,000 for local charitable organizations.

This year the featured beneficiaries were: Samaritan’s Purse, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Colton’s Cure Foundation and Homeless Connections in Appleton.

The BCFD also gives donations to the Freedom House of Green Bay and Paul’s Pantry.

The spirit of dance has brought much joy to Cedergren’s heart.

One of her best memories is working with families whose children have cancer.

Colton Steinhorst from Ashwaubenon had cancer. It was on his bucket list to get a ride in an airplane.

Her son was a pilot and gave him his ride. Two weeks later he passed.

“I was inspired to have my studio get involved with families who have children with cancer after that,” said Cedergren.

She dedicated her whole year to helping with the Colton’s Cure Foundation.

That year each team had a child with cancer that they adopted. The team provided needs for the family.

In the spring, there was a recital and all the children who were sponsored by the team came.

“It made a huge impact on all of us,” she said.

Cedergren started her dance studio over 30 years ago on Velp Avenue and moved to Ashwaubenon on Holmgren Way in 1994.

In Appleton, she started her second location in 2013.

Between the two locations her staff has close to 45 employees.

Her husband pet joined the business full time in February of 1998.

When Cedergren started her career, her mother, Peggy Stofferan was her number one supporter.

“Without her, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” she said.

At age three Cedergren’s mother started her with dance lessons.

Besides Cedergren’s mother, her husband Pete is also her number one supporter. Pete knew the studio was successful and quit his job to focus on the administrative portion of the business.

“He believed in me, my studio and my vision,” she said.

Cedergren’s students also gave back to the community by performing at half time on Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Packers’ home game. She said that was such a great opportunity for the students. They usually perform in theatres, never such a large crowd. Days later she said they are still on a high from the experience.

Cedergren said dance builds character and self-esteem. Along with that she wants to teach that dance can inspire.
She hopes her students through what they have learned from her studio can impact others in the future.

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