Groove Nation is much more than a dance school – it’s a performing arts center that not only teaches dance but helps develop character and leadership among its students. “Some of our instructors were our students 15 years ago!” says owner Rose Sem.

Such a vital program took a real hit during the pandemic as Groove Nation had to shut down for nearly five months. “It’s been very difficult for us,” says Sem. “We did our best to provide online classes, but it just simply is not the same.”

Yet teachers are born to teach, and Sem is going to make sure that a positive situation emerges from these trying times. Sem was excited to join Columbia Bank’s Pass It On Project and knew exactly how she wanted to pass it on. “We are providing free tuition and competition costs for a student of ours who is so dedicated to dance,” says Sem. “This student is so diligent and passionate, yet doesn’t have the support needed – so with Columbia Bank picking up the tab, we are going to give them that.”