Just in time for Pride, we’re excited to share our next Pole & Aerial Community Jam coming up this Sunday, June 16 from 7:30-9pm (including a warm-up run by the cheerleaders) in support of Cheer New York, a non-profit organization comprised of a diverse group of LGBTQ+ and ally cheerleaders, whose mission is to use their athletic and philanthropic efforts to empower and affect change in our communities through charitable action. We will match all donations up to $1500! Ahead, Body & Pole student Dominic Di Felice shares more about this organization and why you should get involved. Don’t forget to book your spot here, and please bring all donations in cash.
What is Cheer New York?
Our Mission Statement: We are a diverse group of LGBTQ+ and ally cheerleaders who use our athletic and philanthropic abilities to empower and affect change in our communities through charitable action.
Through our New York Spirit Fund, Cheer New York raises money for locally-based charities that advocate for equality for the LGBTQ+ community. Each year, our members select a new charity to be the recipient of the New York Spirit Fund. The team fundraises throughout the year before presenting this New York Spirit Fund Donation to our beneficiary.
In the past five years alone, Cheer New York has donated over $75,000 to supporting our local LGBTQ+ community. Funds are also raised to help Cheer New York continue to thrive in our role as certified 501(c)3 nonprofit team of all volunteer members.
Cheer New York is proud to support the Anti-Violence Project as the 2019 beneficiary of our New York Spirit Fund. The support they offer to LGBTQ+ and HIV-affected survivors of violence through counseling and advocacy, combined with their community outreach and educational programs, take crucial steps towards peaceful change within today’s cultural climate.
What is the NYC ANTI VIOLENCE PROJECT?
New York City Anti-Violence Project (AVP) was founded in 1980 by community activists in response to a series of brutal attacks against gay men in Chelsea, New York. Today, AVP provides free and confidential assistance to thousands of LGBTQ and HIV-affected people across New York City each year through our 24-hour bilingual hotline, counseling, support groups, legal representation and individual advocacy.
AVP helps survivors of violence and allies become advocates for safety through participation in community education and outreach, development of organizing campaigns, and the creation and support of city, state and national coalitions to address LGBTQ and HIV-affected violence. AVP coordinates the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP), a coalition of over 50 organizations that works to prevent, respond to, and end all forms of violence against and within LGBTQ communities. Through the coalition, AVP publishes definitive reports annually on national trends of hate violence and intimate partner violence in LGBTQ communities.
How did you get involved with Body & Pole?
I first got involved with Body & Pole in 2017 when I invested in the Summer School program. I had taken a few classes sporadically in the months before, but that May was when I really dove into the studio, head first. I tried to experience every apparatus and conditioning class possible and became a greater acrobat and artist pretty rapidly. Over the past 2 years I’ve had incredible opportunities to perform in showcases, the Halloween show, and gigs at venues outside of BP. The environment is such a supportive place to grow and I’m lucky to have found Body & Pole.
How did you get involved with Cheer New York?
I joined Cheer New York in January 2018. I had no experience as a cheerleader before this organization and happy to have gone outside my comfort zone to try out. It was the influence of BP and the introduction into the burlesque and cirque worlds that got me interested in pursuing more acrobatic adventures. I saw Cheer New York as another opportunity for me to grow as a performer with a whole new set of skills to put under my belt. I was always interested in cheerleading growing up but was heavily involved in music and art programs which deferred me from trying. After my first year, we donated $25,000 to Immigration Equality and the feeling of being a part of that support for a great cause in the LGBTQ+ community was incredible! Now I use my philanthropic interests to help expand our own organization as well as the one we’re raised money for. The Pride Cheer Association (PCA) has squads Cheering for Charity in cities all over the country and Cheer New York is just one of many. It’s been an amazing group of people to be a family with and the spreading of joy and support never gets old. This year’s World Pride will feature representation from multiple PCA teams in the effort to raise money for our New York Spirit Fund and is the most excited I’ve ever been with the team! Teaming up with Body & Pole for this jam gets us even closer to our goal and am grateful to spearhead this opportunity. Thanks Body & Pole!!