WAYNE, N.J. — An 11-year-old Wayne dancer is creating a charity to cut pricey costs for other children who share her passion.
After being crowned USA National Miss New Jersey winner last year, Galan created her own in order to fulfill her community service work for the pageant: "Dancer's Closet."
At once, she began collecting new and gently used dance apparel for distribution.
The charity has become a family affair for the Galans.
“My mom and I clean them and sort them by size, and my dad does all the heavy lifting,” Galan told Daily Voice.
“Even my little sister Victoria helps.
“Whenever a studio or a dancer needs a leotard or something, we try to give it to them,” she said.
“Recently a friend of mine needed a dance shoe and we were able to pick one out and give it to her.”
Mature beyond her years, Galan says some of her confidence comes from competing and performing onstage. The rest of it, she says, comes from her mom.
“My mom makes sure that I’m respectful and responsible, especially since I’m an older sibling.”
Her Mom, Maria, says she is quite proud of Isabella.
“Isabella works very hard,” Maria Galan said. “I do push her because I know she’s capable of a lot.
“She’s a very smart kid,” the elder Galan added. “My job is just to guide her. The rest really comes from her.”
Area dance studios have begun reaching out to Galan to donate.
She hopes to grow her charity to other states.
In the meantime, the young dancer has been spending time volunteering at the local veteran’s home with her father, Tom Galan.
“Having a little girl around puts a smile on anybody’s face when they hardly get visitors,” Tom said. "This experience has really opened her eyes to the importance of giving back. It’s going to make her a better person in a lot of ways.”
“At the end of the day, she’s my hero," Maria Galan added. "And I’m proud of her.”
Message Maria Galan on Facebook to donate.
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