Griffin’s Place has a mission to create a strong community that will encourage everyone to contribute their unique talents and abilities to create a shared experience that people of all abilities can successfully participate in. We love creating and participating in events that foster this mission with strong community partners that share this vision, which is why we are so excited to talk about our upcoming collaboration with Dance with Joy Studios.
We knew, almost right from the start, that we wanted to have a dance event at some point. We take feedback from the community seriously and dancing, especially Salsa dancing, was a highly requested event. But we wanted to make sure we found the right teachers who would understand our mission and our vision.

Enter Dance with Joy Studios! dance

We were so lucky to find a local dance studio that also has the mission to provide support for the community with uplifting activities, opportunities for joyful expression, and providing cultural and physical activity to individuals of all ages.

Rachel Lrachelidskog-Lim, the studio owner and one of the instructors who will be at our party on May 19th, writes that she believes that providing opportunities for people to be creative and express themselves helps individuals achieve their full potential. She values diversity and recognizes that individuals have varying needs and with that in mind, works to provide a
wide-range of unique services and programs, which is also why the studio makes it priority to work with the community to share their resources and talents. This is extra exciting for us, at Griffin’s Place, because this woman has a huge amount of talent to share! A professional dancer, singer, and choreographer, Rachel has been teaching dance as a certified dance instructor since 1989.  A two-times Bronze medalist, 1992 USA Nationals and 2005 Worlds Championships, Rachel has been fortunate to travel professionally for her work to destinations across the US, and around the world, including Argentina, Canada, Cuba, France, Spain, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, and the Eastern & Western Caribbean. WOW! We are so lucky!

Her studio is located in SE Portland, which is a bit of a travel for these amazing teachers, but as Rachel let me know as we were speaking about setting this up, making sure that the community we serve gets the best experience possible is far more important to them than any other factor.dancing-salsa

As we spoke further, it seemed like serendipity that I would have found this studio. You see, I had a bit of a struggle finding the right fit for our group. We needed a teacher that was excited about dance and the joy it can bring, but also was patient and understood that not everyone would be a great dancer (me! I am pretty un-coordinated) or would even want to dance. I had several teachers express interest in working with us, but ultimately felt they wouldn’t be the right fit for what we were looking to do.

Rachel was warm and bright as she enthusiastically explained to me that a part of her personal mission with her dance studio was to bring more awareness to the community about many great non-profits in the area, including doing a monthly class where all the proceeds went to a sponsored charity. We, of course, LOVED finding this out and knew we had found just the right teachers to work with.

We have been so lucky thus far, continuing to connect with great community partners who understand our mission and vision and want to work with us to achieve goals, and Dance with Joy Studios is a relationship that we cannot wait to see how it grows as we work together!

If you live in Portland, make sure to check out Dance with Joy Studios: they offer a HUGE range of classes, from partner dancing like Salsa and Ballroom to Hip Hop and Jazz and Belly Dancing. They also have youth classes, wedding preparation classes, and even Zumba! It’s a pretty well rounded program, and even if you are an expert and don’t necessarily need a class, they also host a wide variety of dance parties at their own studio, including Swing dance and yes, Salsa! So if you get really excited by *our* party, there are lots more to drop into. I’m hoping this makes *me* more comfortable with dropping into a dance class, knowing how supportive and fun Rachel and her crew make dance lessons.

Part of what we at Griffin’s Place hope to achieve is to make activities that might be intimidating or scary less so and to connect with fabulous teachers and businesses that go out of their way to make novices feel welcome and connected and we think this partnership is going to help foster that for our community!


Can’t wait to see you at our Salsa Dance Party, which you can RSVP to RIGHT HERE (click that link and you’ll be brought to a new page!), on May 19th, 2016.

Or click on this link to get to DANCE WITH JOY STUDIOS website and learn more about the people who will be teaching our class and getting our party started!

As always, we LOVE your feedback, so let us know what else you might like to be doing or what music you would love to hear at this party!

  1. April 26, 2016

    Can’t wait to learn a salsa dance with everyone!

  2. April 26, 2016

    This sounds like so much fun! I’m going to bring a friend, too!

  3. April 27, 2016

    Looking forward to another Griffin’s Place event and hoping to see lots of differently abled bodies on the dance floor! If you love to dance, or just eat chips and salsa, this is the place to be May 19th!

  4. April 27, 2016

    Wow! This will be so much fun! I will be there and am looking forward to learning new dance moves from a PROFESSIONAL dances!….as well as eating delicious chips and salsa!

  5. April 27, 2016

    Wow! This sounds like so much fun! I will be there. I can’t wait to learn how to Salsa dance from a PROFESSIONAL dancer….and each chips and salsa!

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