Melissa’s Dance Base fundraising Danceathon

Nicola Kenny

Independent dance artist pledges to raise 1K in support of Dance Base and Dig Deep

Melissa Heywood signed herself up to climb Mount Kilimanjaro for the charity Dig Deep, who supply clean water, hygiene facilities and menstruation education to some of the poorest residents in Kenya, in 2020. Since then, the charity expedition has been cancelled twice due to the pandemic and ongoing complications affecting travel. Now due to embark in August 2023, Melissa is preparing herself for the trip of a lifetime.

While on stand-by for the rescheduled dates, Melissa has been working hard to reach her fundraising goal of £2,950. For the last leg of her challenge Melissa has taken this opportunity to connect the two charities close to her heart and collaborate on a fundraising challenge which will also raise money for Dance Base. As an independent dance artist Melissa has been supported throughout her career by projects run by Dance Base. Not only was Melissa a member of the Lothian Youth Dance Company at the early stages of her career, but she is also a current member of the Dancers Emerging Bursary Scheme and a staff member working as part of their Front of House team.  

Melissa’s fundraising challenge will see her take part in a week-long Danceathon where she will be ‘ditching the day job’ to take part in over 35 hours of Dance Base classes in just five days. This strenuous challenge will take place the week commencing Monday 20 March until Friday 24 March, highlighting World Water Day which takes place on Wednesday 22 March. Melissa will be joining in with a programme of Dance Base’s classes across the week. Melissa is aiming to raise £1,000 from the challenge, with £500 going to each charity. The aim of this challenge will not only be to support Dance Base financially, after they recently announced they were having to take strategic action to protect the future of the organisation, but also to be a fun, uplifting way to connect her to the Dance Base community. 

Melissa Heywood said: It still hasn’t sunk in that I’ll be heading to Tanzania this August with the goal of summiting Kilimanjaro, the highest free standing mountain in the world for the charity Dig Deep. I decided to set up this fundraiser to also support Dance Base because I wanted to bring together the Dance Base community at a time that has been so challenging for all of its staff, teachers and participants. I’m already getting nervous for my trek in August but before then I will be pushing myself to make it through this physically demanding danceathon challenge which will see me attempting some brand-new dance styles.” 


How can you get involved?

Melissa has now set up a sponsorship page through Just Giving, so we encourage you to support her fundraising challenge by making a donation. All donations, big or small, will be welcomed.

Head to the Just Giving page.

If you aren’t able to donate you can also support Melissa by coming along to a dance class during the week of the challenge. Come along to enjoy a dance class and give Melissa some moral support! Check out the full schedule of Melissa’s classes below. 

Book a dance class.

Questions or ideas?

If you have any questions about this fundraising event or want to get involved too by setting yourself a dance challenge, you can get in touch with Melissa at or email Dance Base at