A Safe Place to Land
04/01/2013 08:30AM, Published by Style, Categories: In Print
Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group.
Human trafficking—defined by Wikipedia as the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor—is thriving in the U.S.
It is truly modern day slavery. Due to the shadowy and illegal nature of this problem, hard statistics are hard to find. However, some studies reveal that nearly 18,000 people are trafficked each year in the U.S.; what’s more, sources indicate Sacramento is one of the largest areas for this horrific activity within California.
Helping to heal the broken hearts of abused youth is Tammy Warta, the founder and artistic director of Royal Stage Christian Performing Arts, a nonprofit located in Roseville and Sacramento. Their work is twofold: provide classes in performing, dance and singing to the community and give forgotten and abandoned children and teens a place to communicate their feelings through the same. So, when you sign up for classes you provide income to give these hopeless kids hope. Due to safety concerns, the two groups never participate together.
Growing up, Warta admits she didn’t always feel safe in her own environment, so when she discovered that young people were suffering so close to home she did something about it. “We offer a safe place for abused kids to express their anger and grow,” Warta says.
Saint Thomas Aquinas reflected eight centuries ago, “Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.” Faith and hope are paramount to Warta, the teachers and volunteers. “I was drawn toward a project that brings healing and restoration.” The group’s faith is stated simply as offering creativity and community in Christ; their hope is to bring formerly bleak young people a new life.
Warta, a lifelong dancer, gave up her passion when early artistic directors insisted dancers perform in revealing costumes. It wasn’t until Warta found a Christian-based dance company while attending college at UC Davis when she started dancing again. “I found a dance program that met my personality, my morals and my love of dance,” she explains.
To support their work with disadvantaged kids, Royal Stage offers classes on all aspects of performing and brings professional productions to our community. Ages of participants range from three years old to baby boomers, and all are encouraged to express themselves freely. The teachers stress modesty, service to the community, unconditional love and acceptance. “It is a safe place to sing, dance and act without negatives,” Warta says. All tuition fees from classes support their cause. “I absolutely love Tammy’s vision and heart for art, dance and worship! Her passion to reach the youth is inspiring,” says the mother of a current student.
Don’t miss a rousing performance of a reinterpreted classic Alice in Wonderland at the Benvenuti Performing Arts Center in Natomas this month. Several performances offer tea parties and photos with the cast after the show. “Our goal is to give the audience a positive message,” Warta explains, “[so] they leave the theater feeling upbeat and happy.”
Visit royalstage.squarespace.com for more information.