This black-owned dance studio provided a safe haven for children in need; Now they are begging for help from the community


MADISON, Wisconsin – When Clyde Mayberry moved from Houston, TX to Madison, WI as a child, he noticed that there was no outlet for the performing arts for black people. As a dance lover, he opened his first dance studio on Park Street at just 700 square feet, suitable for black and brown children.

“I wanted a studio run for them, by them and by people like them. I want the little ballerinas to come in and be taught by black ballerinas, ”Mayberry said. “A lot of my families come in and say, ‘Hey I enrolled her in this school and she was bullied, she felt uncomfortable, the instructor didn’t know why her hair needed to be braided to protect her hairstyle from a bun each repetition. These things destroy black children.

The studio, known as The House Inc., and its dancers caught BET’s attention. Mayberry said his dance teams have performed on Broadway for former President Barack Obama and have participated in a handful of national championships.

As his business grew, Mayberry moved into what is now 2,000 square feet of space along the West Beltline Highway in January 2020. But on March 12, 2020, it was forced to shut down due to of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, Mayberry has faced a threat of eviction and has lost half of its students to their families’ financial hardships in an unprecedented year.

Through a community fundraiser, Mayberry said he was able to avoid being kicked from his space. But now he has said he needs to find $ 50,000 to stay open to his students who rely on his studio for a safe place to go.

“I love what I do, but financially it’s so difficult. I don’t know if we can take 30 more days, ”Mayberry said. “It’s the only thing they have. It is so important that this community gets involved and helps us.

Mayberry currently has around 43 children still enrolled in dance classes, but many of them face incredible financial hardship. Mayberry said most are below the poverty line, constantly show up hungry for a meal, and use her space as a form of relief and reassurance for issues they face at home.

“We had a child who suffered from hurting herself. Because we are a physical program, they have to wear workout clothes, we noticed that. We were able to wrap our hands around her and remind her how beautiful and important she was.

Mayberry said it provides meals and toiletries for children who show up hungry and without essentials. Mayberry also offers children to drive to nearby homes or shelters when needed.

The House Inc. lease ends in June. Mayberry is hoping the community will help raise $ 50,000 by then to cover overhead costs, create scholarships for kids who want to join her dance studio, and possibly save enough to move into a bigger and better space.

“I want to have a space for the performing arts and we also want to expand a community center space so that we can provide pantries,” he said.

Mayberry said that through future fundraisers he hopes to be able to provide 100 scholarships to children in need so they don’t have to worry about the cost of attending his studio and can just come and dance. in a safe space, in the single outlet many children have.

“Every child we have endured since 2003 has left and gone to college. Each of them, ”he said.

Mayberry said he was heartbroken because right now the kids can’t go to school, after-school programs, and couldn’t do after-school activities. He is asking for help from the community to save a space that has helped save the lives of so many children by taking them off the streets and keeping them in the studio.

“Every child we’ve endured since 2003 has left and gone to college,” Mayberry said. “Each of them.”

If you want to donate, you can do so in several ways:

Donate to GoFundMe here.

Donate to Mayberry’s Friend fundraiser for the studio here.

Send money via Cashapp to: $ thehouseua

Send a check to:

The House Inc.

313 A. Beltline Highway

Suite 49

Madison, WI 53713

Or you can visit the Dynamic Badgerett Facebook page and look for the links to donate.

Mayberry said if you can’t donate but want to help in another way, he suggests writing letters to the kids. Mayberry said money is important but “love is greater than anything.”

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