Competitive dance studio in North Minneapolis needs help to get to nationals

Three nights a week, Journey Clopton dances her troubles away in a studio in North Minneapolis

"My favorite type of dance is, I have to say, probably hip hop. One thing I like about dancing is definitely a way to cope with my stress and my anger. And these are also, my dear sisters, is my sisterhood," said Clopton.

Cierra Burnaugh started Dance City back in 2015 to give young girls in her community a safe space to express themselves.

But she had to move her practices to her alma mater, North High School because of the crime and drugs that surrounded their old location on West Broadway.

"A lot happens in this community and these dancers are relatives to victims of gun violence, recent gun violence that have happened. So when they come here, they have an outlet where they don't have to think about that. A 3rd grader shouldn't have to worry about who got shot," said Burnaugh.

Burnaugh says most of the dance moms are single parents, who fundraise all year round to pay for lessons on top of making ends meet.

So she started a GoFundMe campaign to come up with $25,000 to take 25 of the girls and their moms to a national dance competition in Las Vegas in June.

"It's important for these girls to be able to see things that they wouldn't have seen. It's important for them to have different experiences. Some of them have never been on a plane. Some of my dance moms have never been on a plane, so this is bigger than dance," said Burnaugh.

Journey believes the trip to nationals would help broaden her horizons.

After all, movement is the medicine that allows her to take her trauma and pour it into her performance.

"I believe that I really love dance with all my heart. It's my passion. It's my future and I believe that I really love my studio and my family here," said Clopton.