The Imperial Dance Corps (IDC) at Dussich Dance Studio was founded by Ms. Liz Dussich Bevilacqua in the early 90's, under a different name, Imperial Dance Company. The dance company was small and parent run. It got its' name from the address of our studio (125 Imperial Street) in Merritt Island. It was created to give those students that were wanting more performance time an opportunity to be on stage and continue growing their craft. Initially, the performances were linked to local and state Florida Dance Masters competitions for both soloist (Mr. and Ms. Dance) and groups (Royal Dance Festival).
In 1997, the parents, dancers and the studio felt that they wanted to do more and as a result, in the 1997-1998 Season, they produced two dinner theater shows in the Social Hall of Divine Mercy Catholic Church. The shows were successful and a lot of fun but they wished to do more and contribute in some way to the community. In 1999, IDC initiated its' first Sharing Through Dance Gala (Kids Helping Kids). The first show was performed at the Cocoa Beach Country Club and a portion of the proceeds were donated to the Brevard Sharing Center and this is how the tradition was put into place. The show was produced every year around the February/March time frame and held at the Brevard Community College Fine Arts Auditorium where it remained until the college began renovation plans. The show is now held at the Merritt Island High School Auditorium.
Below are the recipients of the donation from the Benefit Show over the years:
-Brevard Sharing Center
-Candle Lighters of Brevard (2 different years)
-Crosswind Youth Services
-Bright Star Center for Grieving Children
-Barth Syndrome Foundation
-Devereaux (4 consecutive years)
-Merritt Island High School Fame Academy (Florida Association for Media in Education)
-Serene Harbor Domestic Violence Center
-The Haven (2 consecutive years)
-Walk On Water
Along with helping the community a number of company members have gone on to be very successful in the dance industry:
Peter Chu - Peter received a 4-year scholarship to The Juilliard School and received the Hector Zaraspe Award for Choreography. He also spent 2 years with Montreal Jazz and 3 years performing with Celine Dion in her show in Las Vegas. He formed his own project-based dance company, chuthis.
Todd Shanks - Todd went on to study at Steps on Broadway, Broadway Dance Center and was mentored closely by Bill Hotaling. He is currently a full time Artist in Residence at Dean College, on faculty at Boston Ballet School and is teaching on tour with Manhattan Dance Project and Dance Educators of America.
Niki Townend - Received her Bachelors in Dance at the University of South Florida and is now teaching in Tampa.
Kira Townend - Kira received a scholarship to the Harid Conservatory Ballet School. After graduation, she went on to dance with the North Carolina Dance Thearter and Montgomery Ballet.
Patrick VanBuren - Patrick received numerous summer intensive scholarships with Boston Ballet and has performed with Orlando Ballet II. He most recently was the 2017-2018 Artistic Director for the Montgomery Ballet and is now headed to Fort Wayne , Indiana to be a principal with the Fort Wayne Ballet.
Stephanie Young McCluney - Stephanie graduated from Palm Beach University and performed with Lululeman Athletica and Klein Dance Company and is now the owner and instructor of Tight Tummies Pilates.