BRANDON, Fla. — One Tampa Bay veteran outreach nonprofit is taking a mission of alternative therapy to the dance floor.
Switching out combat boots for dancing shoes is helping to raise morale and giving back.
What You Need To Know
- One Tampa Bay veteran outreach nonprofit is taking a mission of alternative therapy to the dance floor
- Switching out combat boots for dancing shoes is helping to raise morale and giving back
- The Oct. 22 event is a Dance for Arts night, and everyone will get the chance to make it to the dance floor
- The dance benefit will be held at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Brandon
“These are my tap dance shoes,” said Mack Macksam, the director of Veterans Art Center Tampa Bay, as he put on his shoes before practice.
He’s never tap danced before, but it’s all to raise awareness at an event on Oct. 22.
The 20-year Army veteran never shies away from a challenge, but he knows when to ask for help.
Lindsey White has been coaching him and helping him perfect his routine.
The nonprofit’s mission is to provide alternative art therapies to active duty military, veterans, first responders and their families.
For nearly a decade, Macksam has been thinking of new ways to raise awareness about the mission.
“It’s a new challenge in life, just like anything learning like how to ride a bicycle and learning how to tap dance,” he said.
The Oct. 22 event is a Dance for Arts night, and everyone will get the chance to make it to the dance floor.
“Forget the athletic part, there’s the workout, but you work a lot of small muscles you never knew you had when you’re a dancer. That’s great, the physical, but the mental part of dance is probably one of the elaborate forms of therapy because it has so many different components that it’s training at the same time. So for them to provide this to veterans is an amazing service,” said White.
The night won’t just be about dance — the veteran community is taking an extra step in giving back.
“Oct. 22, we’re also going to fundraise and ask for humanitarian supplies for those in Fort Myers as well. So we also think it’s important to give back and show support for those hundreds of thousands homeless and affected by Hurricane Ian,” said Macksam.
The dance benefit will be held at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Brandon.
Guests are encouraged to come dressed in themed outfits from the 30s, 40s and 50s.