Joshua Dooz grew up behind the scenes of his parents’ dance studio, Central Park Dance Academy in Scarsdale but never took a palpable interest in dancing deciding to play sports like wrestling and basketball instead.
But everything changed during a three-month study abroad trip to Zapote, a village in San Jose, Costa Rica, the summer before his senior year of college.
That's when the Dobbs Ferry resident walked into his first dance class and and saw how the rhythmic motions of his instructor, Francy, woke up an energy in the room and in him.
“She [Francy] must have been 70, but she moved like she was 30; it was incredible,” Dooz said.
That's when a lightbulb went off and he finally "got" where his family was coming from.
Dooz soon found himself diligently on time for class on Tuesdays and Thursdays thereafter, and soaked up the moves at the Latin dance clubs two or three times a week.
Seeing how much joy and life dancing brought to the Zapote natives was equivalent to what he was feeling, but it came at a price.
The areas Dooz was in were poverty-stricken with nonexistent sidewalks and a crumbling infrastructure. It made him realize how fortunate he was and got him wondering what he could do.
“When people get lost in the room with the energy and flow, that’s what gets them going, not proper resources,” said the 23-year-old entrepreneur. “
But what if they had all the dancewear, the gear, everything necessary to bring their dancing to a whole other level? That’s what inspired Dooz Dance.”
His mission: To offer affordable dancewear and accessories to those in need.
The business didn’t come to fruition until his senior year and he didn’t sit down and work on it until he already joined the workforce.
“I knew I wanted to somehow get involved with giving back and changing the world, but I didn’t know how I was going to do it and then it just all clicked,” said Dooz, who graduated college in 2016.
The Dooz Dance Experience, launched in September 2017, now provides top-tier equipment for the lowest possible prices for anyone and anywhere.
Dooz plans on becoming certified to teach yoga and launch Westchester’s first donation-based yoga program later this month. He’s also providing Broadway Choreographer David Marquez, a family connection, dancewear and equipment for a West Side Story production he’s choreographing at a high school in Brooklyn.
His ultimate aspiration is to bring the Dooz Dance Experience to underprivileged communities worldwide.
“The future goal is to make real power strides and go into these underdeveloped villages, cities, towns, schools, countries, wherever we go whether it’s here in New York to Costa Rica to Nicaragua or maybe Africa one day,” Dooz said.
“The bigger we get the more we can do.”
Go to www.doozdance.com/ for more information.
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