Backstage Academy of Dance to Raise Money for Family of Deceased Teen

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At just 19 years of age, recent Hilmar High School graduate and lifelong dancer Karly Barker passed away last Tuesday due to a brain aneurysm.

In Karly's honor, the Backstage Academy of Dance will hold benefit classes on Monday to create a scholarship in her name.

“The Backstage Academy of Dance will be holding classes to raise money in honor of the beautiful and talented Karly Barker,” said Kristi Rojas-Garcia, owner of Backstage Dance Academy. “All process will be donated to the Barker family as well as the ‘Karly Barker Dance Scholarship.'”

Barker, a 2011 Hilmar High School graduate, danced at Backstage Academy and taught classes there. According to Garcia, a high school scholarship will also be started in her name in addition to the Backstage dance scholarship. Additional funds will go to help the Barker family.

Barker passed away last Tuesday, following an unexpected brain aneurysm that occurred over the preceding weekend.

“When I found out what was going on with her, I told my mom and our first thoughts were how bubbly and happy she always was, which made it even more of a tragedy,” said Maci Williams, friend and co-worker of Barker. “She really was just a bright spirit and I’ll always remember how she talked with so much energy. She would always light up the room and had the biggest smile. She was beautiful.”

Classes will be held at 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., and 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Backstage Academy of Dance, located at 957 E. Monte Vista Ave. in Turlock. A minimum donation of $5 for each class is appreciated.

“The most comforting thing for me has been seeing her Twitter and her post that had said ‘It’s not the length of life, but depth of life,'” said Williams. “That’s why we will all be dancing for her on Monday. It is to celebrate Karly’s life.”

For more information, call Keaton Garcia at (209) 620-5110.

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