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About Us

A world in which dance is accessible to anyone who finds joy in movement. 



To provide local communities access to dance education and opportunities, with an emphasis on under-served areas. 

  • To bring dance to the people

  • To bring the people to dance


African American Kids Dancing

            Betty J. Gantz held a deep love for music and dance and recognized this same spark in her granddaughter, Sharon Hicks.  In 1960’s Central Pennsylvania, there were few opportunities to pursue dance for a low-income black family.  Mrs. Gantz found a teacher who saw same the latent talent in her granddaughter that she did.  Gail Gutierrez took Sharon under her wing and, as a white teacher, broke away from the norm to expose Sharon to the resources and environments she needed to become the amazing talent she is today. Mrs. Gantz supported Sharon’s training and career, and provided the means to open her first dance studio, just as inclusive as the school in which she was raised.

            In 1990, Sharon Hicks, in turn, took a young student as her protégé. Michaele Replogle has been studying and teaching by Sharon’s side ever since, sharing in her dream of opening doors for dancers that still remain closed for so many.

            The Betty J. Gantz Foundation for the Arts was formed to honor Mrs. Gantz and her vision of bringing dance and other artistic endeavors to all children, regardless of skin color, body type, distance, and cost.

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