80 dancers displaced after fire at studio

Everything is gone. What was once Studio III Dance and Tumbling Academy in Casey, Illinois is now just burnt metal and ash.

Posted: Nov 28, 2017 10:35 PM
Updated: Nov 28, 2017 10:39 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Everything is gone. What was once Studio III Dance and Tumbling Academy in Casey, Illinois is now just burnt metal and ash.

Studio Director Samantha Fisher got the news the building was up in flames before six Tuesday morning. According to local fire authorities, the call came in around 5:45am and when crews arrived the building was already fully engulfed.

Fisher says dance is all she has ever known. She has spent most of her adult life building the program.

"This is my everyday. This is my whole life."

The studio, located at 106 East Harrison Avenue, was once a safe place for dancers with nearly eighty girls currently enrolled. Now it's the opposite.

Dancer Boston Roberts says, "This is just our safe place. We come out here and we can just do what we need to do and practice and do what we love."

Fisher says, "So, to see that not only do I {not} have a place to come everyday but that these girls don't have a place to come everyday kind of makes your world come crashing down pretty fast."

Dancer Harley Reeve says, "It's just hard."

Fisher has been working to secure a new place for the girls to practice.

"We compete in two and a half months. Things don't stop just because this happened so we've got to find a place to practice. We've got to find ample space to practice."

Book work, costumes, mats, mirrors, bars, trophies and pictures were all lost in the fire, according to Fisher.

"We'll make new pictures and we'll make new memories and we just have to keep pushing on because we don't have any other options."

Dancer Ambrosia Roberts says, "It made all of us very upset knowing that we spent so much hard work and dedication here and it’s all gone but, I mean, this is just a place. This doesn't make out dancing any different."

The girls say this experience will make an already strong team stronger and they'll rally around their leader.

A. Roberts says, "It's really sad seeing her upset because it means the world to us but I know it means a thousand times more to her because she has built this up to wear it is now."

Dance parents are already working on fundraisers including a chili dinner fundraiser.

Fisher says every dollars raised will go back to the girls.

"That's always the way that is been. It's my job and it's my livelihood but everything I have goes straight back to them and it always has and it's not going to change just because this has happened."

Fisher says she hopes to have a place to practice my next week. She was renting the space on Harrison Avenue and had been there around two and a half years.

It is unclear what will happen to the property.

"This is my life. This is all I've ever done. This is all I know but it's not about me and what I've lost. It's about what these girls need and what they need to get back to doing what they love and that's what I'm going to do for them."

For more information on upcoming fundraising efforts visit the studio Facebook page here.

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