LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Vince Horiuchi loves dance, and he loves teaching kids his art.
Horiuchi has made it his mission to inspire and motivate students through dance since he was 18-years-old, but it’s been a constant struggle for the 32-year-old to keep his dance programs going, especially in schools where budgets are tight.
In 2011, many of his dance classes were stopped due to school budget cuts. The resourceful teacher started making videos and tutorials online where he found a following.
And today, he’s back to teaching 15-20 classes per week in the cafeterias at Payne and Voorhis elementary schools in El Monte.
“I think having this presence in schools, it really shows people the power of the arts,” Horiuchi said. “You see shy kids become confident. You see kids who have this anxiety over having to dance let loose and be free.”
A few weeks ago, a company stepped in to help Horiuchi with his mission of spreading the art of hip-hop and breakdancing.
“I know you’re probably wondering why I’m here,” a spokesperson from Ally Bank said in a video. “Ally is going to fund the visual and performing arts program for another year.”
Ally Bank selected Horiuchi for its Banksgiving event, a way to pay it forward to support causes like his.
“They were like, ‘No, this is for you,'” Horiuchi said. “I was like, ‘What?!'”
Ally Bank donated $10,000 to both of the schools to keep the program running for another year, changing not only his life, but, he hopes, the lives of the kids as well.
The children also received new clothes and Horiuchi was given a new car that will help his get to all of his dance classes.