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"but First we Dance" 501(C)3

"The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise" ~ Maya Angelou

Sometimes life throws us a curveball and we just need a little help. While many are blessed to be able to give this opportunity to their kids many are not. We are four dance moms that wholeheartedly believe that there is a need in our community to help those who can't afford dance by raising funds and providing scholarships. 


Our scholarship program is open to any dancer, recreational or competitive at any studio in Minnesota.


Our Mission

To give those who have a desire to dance an opportunity to cultivate their skills of confidence, self-expression and dedication through scholarships.

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Roberta Perrone has been a licensed real estate closer for more than 20 years. Helping buyers and sellers successfully navigate the real estate process is one of her greatest joys. While helping others has given her great joy, what she is most truly proud of is being a mother of three beautiful children who push her to be a better person each day. She has a passion for giving and truly believes that receiving ultimately begins with giving.


"In a world full of takers, be a giver. For a taker will sell what they have for monetary gain. But a giver will give what they have out of goodness." ~ Author Unknown


Her daughter has been dancing since the age of three and she has seen first hand how dance can provide confidence, self motivation and daily life skills. She is thrilled to be a part of this opportunity to give back to the community and give others a way to experience the "joy of dance"!


Christi worked as an Oral Surgery Assistant Special, until she decided to stay at home with her two youngest children.  Now that her youngest is attending Kindergarten this year, she has decided to put time into projects that she's passionate about.  


This non-profit is very near and dear to her heart. Growing up she loved to dance. She would dream of being a dancer.  Her family had many hardships, and financially was never able to put her in dance.  "I remember setting up our radio outside and choreographing dances on the street.  I would pretend to be a backup dancer or a ballerina.  It brought me a release of my worries. It's weird but it was my stillness."  


One of her favorite things is watching her daughter Mila's passion for dance.  She will literally dance anywhere, anytime and she doesn't care who is watching.  "My whole soul is happy when I watch her dance, mainly because she loves it so much!"  Christi is hoping that being part of this non-profit she can find the girl/boy that is full of passion and dreams and give them the opportunity.  

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Mindy Haukedahl is a licensed school counselor for grades K-12, a licensed school principal K-12, and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She is the Director of Academic, College and Career Counseling at New Life Academy in Woodbury, MN along with being the owner/Psychotherapist in private practice at Afton Therapy in Oakdale.


She is highly respected and extensively trained in mental health disorders and certified through Dr. Daniel Amen Clinics and Internationally through BCIA in Neurofeedback. She is passionate about helping improve the mental, emotional, and physical health of adolescents and adults while working alongside them to reach their full potentials.

She understands the importance of working with others through a strength-based approach. Mindy has discovered how dance can be an effective way for the soul to find peace and she cannot wait to help families reduce financial barriers that can easily come from supporting one’s desire to dance and light up a stage.


"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give" ~ Winston Churchill


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"but First we Dance" is giving away a Scholorship* up to $250 with our FIRST photo contest! Its time to pull out those dance photos to showcase your dancers beauty and cuteness!

We will have THREE non-affiliated judges that will score each picture and the highest score will receive a GRANT* worth up to $250.

One Photo Entry: $20


THREE Photo Entry: $50.

Deadline to ENTER: February 28th

Click below to submit your photo today! 

*Scholarship to be payable to the winners dance studio ONLY, no cash value.

*If a minimum of 30 contestant are not entered "but First we Dance" will split the funds raised with the winner.

*Contest requires a minimum of 15 contestants, if less "but First we Dance" will give credit to the entries for a future photo contest.


Let's be "Dance Partners"

Thank you for taking the time to learn about our foundation!  We truly belive that dance is your heart speaking through music. We were founded with the belief that no matter who you are or where you come from you should always be giving an opportunity to DANCE.

To become a "Dance Partner" with us please complete the information below and we will reach out to you!

Thanks for being a "Dance Partner" with us!

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