Art with Heart Feels the Love

Story Summary

Dancers speak through movement. The graceful rise of an arm. The head tilted just so. The pause…and the powerful leap that transforms into a spin. Their body is the instrument, and they pour their heart and soul into the performance. The artistry evokes wonder, excitement, heartbreak, joy, loss and triumph.

Kandee Allen knows that it also has the power to heal. Growing up as a dancer, she recalled visiting the patients in the old Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah as a child to perform with her dance school. Deeply moved by the patients she met there, Kandee never forgot the experience. Decades later, now the owner of a successful dance studio, the memory inspired her to find a way to give back through the art of dance. And so, Art with Heart—“Kids Who Dance, So Others Can Walk”—was created.

“For me as a teacher and studio owner, I would say—more than anything else I’ve done—that this is the most fulfilling and important thing that we do.”

Art with Heart is a dance competition benefitting Shriners Children’s Salt Lake City. The annual event features nationally acclaimed dancers ages 4-18 from three top dance studios in Utah: Dance Impressions, The Dance Club, and The Winner School. Leading up to the performance, the studios and dancers raise money through sales of paper hearts which are then customized with the donors name and displayed in the Salt Lake City location’s lobby. Ticket sales for the event also contribute to the fundraising goal.

“I know it’s a lot of work,” Kandee reflects. “It’s a huge labor of love, but it’s the most enjoyable event that each studio looks forward to every year because we know its purpose. It is definitely the highlight of our season.”

Now in its 22nd year, the third-party fundraising event has raised over one million dollars for Shriners Children’s Salt Lake City. “I remember over the years thinking, ‘Wow, look what we’re capable of,’” says Kandee. “I know that this is something others could do, too.”

To learn more about Art with Heart, contact

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