The Pulse Dance Company from Studio for the Living Arts DanceCenter in Gray held a benefit performance Jan. 16 for the Bruce Roberts Toy Fund, a non profit organization that has been providing Christmas toys for area children in need since 1949.

Guest dancers from Center Stage Performing Arts Dance Studio in Raymond joined Pulse for the sold-out performance at Gray-New Gloucester Middle School, which raised $1,032 for the Bruce Roberts Toy Fund.

The performance was originally scheduled to be held Dec. 16, 2008, but due to a snow storm that evening the show was canceled. As the Bruce Roberts Toy Fund takes donations year-round the studio decided that the show would go on and the event was rescheduled for after the holidays.

“I am always very thankful for the amazing support shown by our faculty, dancers, parents and our community,” said Susan Cloutier, owner and director of Studio for the Living Arts DanceCenter. “It’s so nice to benefit other people by doing something we enjoy.”

Pulse Dance Company is for the technically advanced dancer who wants to make a serious commitment to the art of dance, as well as to the community service that the company performs. Dedication and commitment begin in the classroom and extend to rehearsals, performances and the community service events schedule. The company includes 52 dancers, ages nine to 18.

The studio’s first dance company was created 18 years ago. The group originally was formed as a performance vehicle for serious young dancers to have the opportunity to work with various choreographers and participate in dance competitions.

After traveling throughout the United States and winning many regional and national titles and awards, the group has since evolved into a strong philanthropic organization, in particular, with the formation of the current troupe “Pulse.”

The company also lends a hand in raising money for the Autism Society of Maine by hosting an annual dance performance benefit. Over the past three years the troupe has rasied over $6,500 for the Autism Society. This year’s Autism benefit will be held March 21 at 7 p.m. at Windham High School.

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