Some of the Dancing for a Difference students wearing shirts with the new logo.

A local dance studio in Brandon had a fresh start to the year with its new space and name. Riverview resident Sara Battaglia, who is the president and director of Dancing for a Difference, held a grand opening for the new studio on January 29.

Dancing for a Difference is a nonprofit organization with a mission to make dance more available to all ages and abilities within the Tampa Bay area as well as give back to the community. Prior to the name change, the organization was called Dancing for Donations. Battaglia felt that the time was appropriate to move forward with the rebranding.

The organization received a $13,000 grant from the Mabel and Ellsworth Simmons Charitable Foundation, Inc., which helped with the funding of Dancing for a Difference’s new studio. In addition, through the Valrico FishHawk Chamber of Commerce, Dancing for a Difference was the 2021 Charity of Choice. Battaglia is also involved in other chambers, such as the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce and the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce.

Since its establishment in May 2017, Dancing for a Difference has grown, hence the need of this new space. The former studio was 1,500 sq. ft. This new one is double that size.

Battaglia stated the reason for the new studio and how it will be beneficial for the organization.

“We have over 200 students and could not grow much more due to limited size in space,” Battaglia said. “With the new space it provides us room for more students,” she added.

Dancing for a Difference offers a wide variety of classes, such as ballet, jazz, tap, voice, piano and more. Battaglia said that they love to meet new people and welcome them to their dance family. Those who are interested can register for these classes.

“Overall, thank you to the community, along with the dance families, for supporting us all of these years,” Battaglia said.

For more information about classes, visit It is located at 1076 E. Brandon Blvd., Stes. #108 and #109 in Brandon. Call 601-3009.

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Tatiana Ortiz is a freelance writer with the Osprey Observer Newspaper. She began as an intern here in 2010 and has been writing since. Tatiana graduated from the University of South Florida in 2015. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Public Relations. In her free time, Tatiana enjoys photography, biking and being with her family.