World Dance For Humanity

1 Janis Hoppy

World Dance For Humanity: 

 In Shape, Inspired, In Service to Humanity!

A diverse group of woman (and one Token Man – Larry!) who come together up to 5 times a week, in Santa Barbara, CA to dance, support, lift each other up, and give back to Humanity. There are over 1000 members and 100 active dancers. This group is much more than just a fitness or dance class, it is a community that welcomes new members with open arms, minds and heart’s.

World Dancers give 100% of profits from class fees and fundraising to charities all over the world. In 2012, they gave over $50,000 to grassroots projects in Nepal, Uganda, Ghana, Liberia, Rwanda, and Santa Barbara. One group in particular captured our hearts, the Never Again Fellowship in Rwanda. Our dancers have commitment to help them survive and to sustain them in their goals.


The Rwandan Connection


In 2012, World Dancers provided the Never Again Fellowship with:

  • 2 full-grown, pregnant cows
  • 185 goats, now every household has a goat
  • 2 South African milking goats to breed with local goats
  • 131 mattresses for the poorest members who are sleeping on the ground or on mats
  • A year of schooling to 29 children and young adults
  • Musical instruments and sound equipment


In 2013 they raised funds through class fees, general donations, and Thrill The World Santa Baraba and were able to donate $57,460 to the communities we are serving. They were able to provide:

  • 118 Student Sponsorships – Primary, Secondary, and College
  • Business Training for 6 Kigali Coops
  • 20 goats for Abakundana Cooperative (Twa – Pygmies in the Southwest)
  • 20 goats for Twirererabana (Unwed mothers in the north)
  • 24 goats for Tubehotwese (Poor farmers in the Northeast)
  • 25 goats for Icerechezo (Poor farmers in the East)
  • 40 goats for Abadacogora (Widows and orphans in the Kigali area)
  • 44 Goats for Never Again Group #6
  • 53 goats for new members of Tubehotwese
  • 1 goat shed for Abadacogora (Widows and orphans in the Kigali area)
  • 2 milk goats for Joy Cooperative (Women genocide survivors in Kigali area)
  • 1 milk goat for Their Tomorrow Cooperative (Orphans in the Kigali area)
  • 110 solar lights for our cooperatives
  • 45 mattresses for the Twa
  • 2 cows for Never Again Fellowship (Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa)
  • 1 cow for Abishyizehamwe (United people)

The Physical Connection

On June 15th, 2013 a group of 12 World Dancers (myself included) boarded a plane to begin this live changing journey. Together we spent 10 of the most intense days of my life experiencing this Culture,  people and taking in all that World Dance was supporting in the lives of these people. After 10 days, the group had left and I stayed behind trusting fully that my Spirit had been guided to this place for a reason and I was here to find out why! 

Here’s what happened on our trip together!

Since Our Trip

World Dance has created the Hughes Scholarship Fund, which is dedicated to the future of the young adults in  the Kungabu Fish Farming Cooperative near Lake Kivu in southwestern Rwanda.

They have also sponsored over 100 students to go to school from other cooperatives, here are a few examples. If you are interested in donating to any of the these projects  follow the links to their site below.


Betty Niyonsaba
15 years old
Betty is from a poor family and has 4 other siblings.
Sponsored by Luke Nowak
Egidia Kayitesi
18 years old
Egidia’s parents have other 8 children some of whom are in school.
Sponsored by Alexandra Haslund-Gourley
Ezzra Nyirimanzi
17 years old
Ezzra is from a poor family and has 5 other siblings.
Sponsored by Ben Haslund-Gourley
Peace Heshanyu
19 years old
Peace’s parents are poor and can’t afford to send their 7 children to school.
Sponsored by Sean Simpson
World Dance has also branched out into supporting small business ideas within the cooperatives, including the:


How Does All This Happen?

We communicate with them via our Rwandan correspondent, Justin Besigimana who came to us through our involvement with “Goats For Life”, a non-profit organization created by Betsy Kain. He sends us photos, letters, and updates about the people and has told us many times how thankful they are for their American (and 1 Canadian) Sisters who dance for them and how much they love us. They actually have a photo of us that they keep in a fancy bag and take out on special occasions to admire and share with others!


 Justin is an amazing human being who lives his purpose in life fully, everyday no matter what barriers he faces. He and his family welcomed me openly and I became a like family member during my 5 months in Rwanda. This man inspires me everyday to keep going on my journey. I came all the way across the world and found one of my true Soul Mates and for that there are no words to express my gratitude.

I am so grateful to Janet Reineck, the creator of this wonderful group and for all of the beautiful woman who come out and make this project a reality. It is because of people like Janet who follow their true calling that things like this exist and it opens doors for others to do the same, which is another living example of this philosophy. Janet and Justin you are Love In Action!

What Can You Do?

World Dance has expanded greatly in the short time that I have been a member and it just keeps on growing thanks to the support of many different people. For more info or to make a donation please check out: and prepare to be inspired!

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