KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A local mother who knows loss all too well is channeling her pain into fulfilling her daughter's dream.
Timika Simms started the Imperial Goddessess Dance Studio last May in Kansas City, Missouri.
Her daughter's father was killed two years ago, and she has lost several other family members and friends to gun violence.
Simms said her daughter always wanted to be a dancer, but dance classes can be very expensive. She decided to create a dance studio that would allow her daughter to do what she loves while also providing a welcoming space for others in the community suffering from gun violence.
"You want to see them succeed, and if there's any way that you can help you do that," Simms said.
She hopes to get the word out about the studio so young girls who may be struggling will have a place they can go to build confidence and make friends.
"We would like to be inclusive and diverse so any child that's interested in learning dance and going forth in other things, we hope this platform allows them that opportunity," Simms said.
Imperial Goddessess parent Bridgette Simpkins said her daughter was very shy until she started classes.
"I see the difference from last year into this year and she has grown tremendously," Simpkins said.
Simms said she works with parents who might not think they can afford classes.
She hopes to get the girls involved in the community as well.
"We hope that we continue to leave a legacy of community of one step in front of the other," Simms said. "We're not here to compete, but we're definitely here to grow."
For more information about the studio, email firstname.lastname@example.org.