Indianapolis dance group raising money for competition in Tennessee

Lanique Expressions Dance Company practices Jan. 9, 2018, in Indianapolis in preparation for an event in Tennessee. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis dance team is preparing for a big competition this spring in Nashville, Tennessee, but the dancers need help getting there.

The group is called LaNique Expressions Dance Company. Everyone involved is trying to raise money to help pay for transportation, hotel and the uniforms.

The owner and instructor told 24-Hour News 8 her students are working very hard and they’re hoping to take home first place again this year. For Ladena Webb, dance is everything, dance is life.

“I love teaching kids and kind of being that role model, somebody for them to look up too,” said Webb.

Webb started her own dance company at age 24 and moved into a bigger dance studio near 62nd Street and Georgetown Road about five months ago.

“My studio started off with about 20 kids but now I have like a little over a hundred, about 125,” she said.

Webb said she’s more than just an instructor. She’s looking out for her students outside the studio.

“I’m at the school calling them, popping up at their houses; you know, ‘hey, we can’t do that. This is the right way to go.’ They all really turn around and they can’t dance with bad grades; I don’t let them dance,” she said.

Webb said she does what she can for her students. She said she believes she’s the messenger.

“I’m really really thankful that God was able to use me,” she said.

Webb teaches different genres and styles of dance from hip hop to majorette to ballet and praise dance.

“They say when they come to the studio it’s just like a way to give them peace. Tt’s like a happy place for them; you know, a place to just be themselves,” she said.

Imani Person, 17, said the studio helps her to be free. She’s a team captain and has been dancing for the past seven years.

“It helps me. It’s a way that I can express myself even in my down times, my happy times,” Person said. “It’s just a way to let go and be myself.”

Dance and the studio also help other students cope with tragedy. Dakhia Wheeler said her brother was murdered in 2016.

“It helps me takes my mind off of my brother’s situation,” Wheeler said. “It’s been hard but I’ve been like very strong for my mom.”

Students are determined more than ever. With several competitions happening this spring, they are more than ready to take on the challenge.

A fundraiser for the dance team is scheduled for Jan. 28 at Roller City, a roller-skating rink at 6445 W. Washington St.

The dance competition called Warzone in Nashville, Tennessse, will take place on March 10.

The dance studio is at 6210 La Pas Trail in Indianapolis. Please call (317) 529-9388 if you would like to make a donation.