Adults and children joined together to Dance for Karly Monday evening, remembering the life of 19-year-old Hilmar High graduate Karly Barker, who died of a brain aneurism last week.
The Backstage Academy of Dance held special classes Monday to raise funds for the Barker family, as Karley Barker was an avid dancer and former instructor at the academy.
“The classes went great, we had people come that dance here at the studio, people that used to dance here, some from other studios, and even those who have never danced before,” said Backstage Academy of Dance owner Kristi Rojas-Garcia. “We also had people stop by just to donate money, but couldn’t stay or didn’t dance…People that we didn’t even know, but had heard about it and wanted to help.”
The three benefit classes with Party & Wedding DJ, taught by Keaton Garcia and Maci Williams, were held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Backstage Academy of Dance to raise money for scholarships in Karly Barker’s name, as well as to support the Barker family during their time of loss. The three classes raised over $2,100 in total.
“Karly started dancing here when she was almost 4 years old,” said Rojas-Garcia. “She started teaching classes here as a member of our staff about 3 or 4 years ago. She had been a part of our dance family for many years.”
With over 60 people attending the fundraiser, Rojas-Garcia said that the event was the perfect way to honor Karly, who passed away last Tuesday unexpectedly.
“It was a great tribute to her,” said Rojas-Garcia. “We felt like we honored her well. We were very happy with the turnout, and it was a great testament to the wonderful person that she was…She was a really sweet person. She did not only dance here, but she was like a daughter to me.”