Sky Gym

Aerial dance is a death defying artform popularized by Cirque du Soleil where dancers weave themselves through mesmerizing forms while suspended in the air. Prepare to elevate your night. Sky Gym is an aerial training center in Sandy Springs, and is proud to present the dancers from their Street Team. The Street Team is performance group dedicated to bringing the elegance and power of the flight.

 

Persica Dance Company

Persica is Atlanta’s newest professional Oriental and Middle Eastern dance company, bringing this joyful dance form to new audiences and stages across Georgia and beyond. Persica’s dancers Sampriti, Jendayi, Razi, Hasna and Elisabeth have over half a century of dance experience between them and regularly delight audiences at Middle Eastern and performance venues across Atlanta.

The Atlanta Dance Academy (TADA)

TADA offers classes for adults and children in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop, Salsa, and more. Join us for a class today.

TADA, The Atlanta Dance Academy, is pleased to present Najaah Malonne a high school sophomore from Atlanta, who has been dancing since she was 3. Najaah is definitely on track to be one of our nation’s best professional dancers. In addition she is an Ambassador for Brown Girls Do Ballet. Tonight, Najaah will be performing “The Voices” with music by Nina Simone and choreography by Alvin Ailey’s Sean Carmon. Please enjoy.

IK, King of the Trolls

IK the Troll King, at the respectable age of 10,975 years has wandered the world by foot (granted oceans require holding one’s breath for quite a while) as has been his duty as King to make sure that all of his people are safe and cozy under their bridges. Along the way he has learned a thing or two, and has heard much of the lore of the great big rock we all call home. For the last 21 years he has been working to foster positive relations between his people and humankind, and while it is an uphill battle he nonetheless strives to build a bridge between our cultures. At first glance may think he is scary, but time spent in his presence shows that one should not judge a book by its cover.

IK can regularly been seen at the Tennessee Renaissance Festival, and at Rocktoberfest & Fairytale Nights at Rock City Gardens.

2016: Briana Johnson

Briana Johnson is a 34 year old mother, wife, daughter and student and she has been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Briana was originally diagnosed on March 15, 2016, just 4 months after giving birth to her second son in November of 2015. After weaning her baby boy off breastfeeding Briana went back to graduate school at Mercer University to become a Physician Assistant. That is when Briana started to notice hard little lumps in the side of her breast, and they started to grow rapidly and quickly grew into a wedge, all within 3 weeks. Assuming that it was just a clogged milk duct, which is a normal occurrence after weaning. Briana was healthy and at that time was only 33 years old, so breast cancer never crossed her mind.

During a break at graduate school Briana went to see her OBGYN and they immediately sent her to get a mammogram. The results were shocking, within 7 weeks the original lump had taken over half her breast, growing to 7 cm. This is when things started to get serious and begin to sink in for Briana that she might have breast cancer. Next was a referral to a breast surgeon for examination. After doing the test and coming to a diagnosis the surgeon called Briana’s husband, Chris, and gave him the news that her biopsy came back positive for breast cancer. Briana was in class at the time so Chris met Briana at school after class to give her the news. Showing up with a big trophy in his hand Briana knew the verdict before Chris ever opened his mouth. Chris was very supportive and uplifting, telling Briana she could have the trophy after finishing all of her treatments. He told her “We are the Johnsons and we can beat anything!” Briana and Chris were always a strong team, getting through all their trials and tribulations that couple goes through, this was no different, they are both determined to get through this together.

Receiving that news was originally devastating for Briana, she felt as though she was delivered a death sentence, and truly felt she was going to die. She can’t even think back on that moment without breaking down in tears still to this day. But her husband, her two young boys, and the rest of her family helped keep her strong and stay focused on beating this terrible disease. The treatments unfortunately caused Briana to have to drop out of school, which hurt because the main reason she moved to Atlanta was to pursue her dream of becoming a Physician Assistant.

Chemo has not been easy on Briana, she suffered from every imaginable side effect of chemo, even in the face of losing her hair Briana took it in stride, deciding to cut all of her hair off before the chemo could take it from her, showing her sons that she was strong and fighting to be with them each and every day. Chris showed how dedicated he was to his wife by cutting his hair as well. Chemo has taken a lot of time away from her children and family, keeping her bedridden for weeks at a time, and affecting her ability to walk at times. Suffering from neuropathy Briana sometimes needs to be escorted to the bathroom and shower. Recalling her last chemo treatment was an eye opening experience for Briana, her dad took her to this treatment, and wanting to be strong she convinced herself she could walk into the oncologist’s office. She fought and walked as far as she could, but then she felt her legs giving out, her father tried to hold her up, but she eventually fell to the floor, she had no strength left. She had to be wheel chaired into the office. She couldn’t walk and was finding it impossible to catch her breath. She was taken to the chemo room and had to be carried to the treatment. The nurse made a comment at how light she was and at that moment she truly realized what she had lost. Her once strong and healthy body had been lost, along with her ability to walk, to eat, to be free of pain, to play with her children, to think clearly and mostly the freedom to care for herself. But through all of this Briana and her family continue to fight, she is truly a role model and an inspiration to us all. No matter what, even in the hardest battle of your life, you never give up, you stay positive and do whatever you have to do to be with the ones you love, even if that means listening to all the Harry Potter Books on tape while recovering from chemo treatments, something Briana doesn’t like to admit.

We are happy to introduce Briana Johnson as our 2016 Nancy Falco Fund Recipient! Come join us September 17th 2016 at Blue Mark Studios to help celebrate this wonderful young woman and raise as much money as possible to help her and her family get through this tough time. Every penny counts, so even if you can’t make it to The Dance you can donate on our website, we look forward to seeing you all there, let’s make this the party of the year!

2014: McCare Pratt

McCarewebMcCare Pratt is the true definition of a warrior woman personified, but even warriors cry from time to time. Mrs. Pratt is a vivacious thirty-two year old wife and mother that has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. By most accounts she is living the American dream. She married her high school sweet heart in 2006 and a year later the couple welcomed a beautiful, sassy, and fearless little lady named Bella. McCare is now raising her own family in her childhood home. For the last several years McCare has been busy enjoying life, working full-time in accounting for a local company. Her husband, Jason worked for years as a mechanic until back surgeries led him to his new career as a truck driver.

In December of 2013, McCare noticed a red blotch on her breast. After a couple of days when the blotch didn’t go away, she decided to pay a visit to her gynecologist. Her gynecologist assured her that it was probably just some type of infection and sent her away with a prescription for an antibiotic. When the antibiotic didn’t clear up the blotch, McCare was referred to a breast specialist. On January 9, 2014, Mrs. Pratt went in for her first appointment with the breast specialist. After an ultrasound, the specialist said “I am really worried”. Since then it has been a whirlwind of doctors’ visits, biopsies and chemotherapy for McCare. Her diagnosis is stage 3A breast cancer. McCare is now out of work on disability, and only receiving a percentage of her pay. When she initially found about her condition, she was most concerned about how her family was going to survive without her full income.

Mrs. Pratt faces four more chemo treatments, a double mastectomy and radiation in the months to come. After two chemo treatments, she had already started waking up to her hair falling out on her pillow. One weekend in February 2014, her husband lovingly shaved her head for her. McCare says that besides being sick, “losing her hair has been one of the worst parts of this ordeal”. She says “after Jason shaved my head, I just got in the shower, and cried and prayed and cried some more, and prayed some more. I am so thankful to God that we caught it and that it’s treatable. Despite it all I am still thankful”. McCare says she finds strength in her relationship with God and from all the support of her family and friends. She is a self-described homebody, who loves going to the movies with her daughter and cooking for her family and friends.

McCare Pratt is a fighter, and a true warrior woman! We look forwarding to seeing you on May 3, 2014, as we join McCare in her fight against cancer, and raise money to help her during this difficult time.