Atlanta Family Named Finalists in National Dance-off Against Childhood Obesity

Family Needs Votes to Win $30,000 for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta

ATLANTA (March 14, 2011) — The Toregano family of Smyrna is moving and grooving in Primrose Schools’ national Family Dance-off to fight childhood obesity and benefit Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Their white-gloved performance of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” has landed them in the finalist round of the second annual Dance-off, where a grand-prize win for our own dancing stars includes a donation of $30,000 to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and a $5,000 cash prize. Second prize wins $3,000 and a $20,000 donation to Children’s, while third prize wins $1,500 and a $15,000 donation.

“It’s incredible for us to be a part of something so wonderful and to support Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta,” said Raiya Toregano. “My three-year-old daughter Zahrya has been to Children’s before for colds and fevers, and the hospital is just amazing.”

In order to bring the donation to Children’s, the Toregano family needs the most votes. Go to to vote up to five times a day from March 20-26. Independent judges will select the winner based on the number of votes*, creativity, originality and humor of the videos. The winning families will be announced the week of March 28.

The Toreganos learned about the Dance-off from Zahrya’s school, Primrose School of Smyrna West, and jumped at the chance to participate. “We love giving back to the community,” says Raiya, who regularly donates to Goodwill and volunteers at homeless shelters during the holidays with her family. “Plus, at Zahrya’s age, she’s already at risk for childhood obesity, and we wanted to make sure she understands how important it is to be physically active and healthy.”

In their Jackson Five-inspired video, entitled “The Toregano Five,” the family takes their cues from Michael Jackson’s legendary dance moves. Zahrya stars in the video, donning a black suit and top hat as mom Raiya, dad Corey, Aunt Jaimee Ratliff and Uncle Evan Ratliff spin and dance around her. The family’s multi-generational passion for Michael Jackson made the dance especially meaningful. “You could call it a family tradition,” said Raiya. “Our parents loved Michael Jackson. Corey and I love him, and now Zahrya loves him too. We play his music at family gatherings, and turn it on full blast Saturday mornings to clean and dance around the house together.”

The Family Dance-off is part of Primrose’s commitment to happy hearts and healthy bodies in each of its preschools and communities. “Dancing is a fun, easy way for families to combat obesity risk, enjoy physical activity and spend quality time together,” says Cami Nail, a spokesperson for Atlanta Primrose Schools. Childhood obesity and the need for more physical activity are critical issues for young children in the U.S.: according to the Centers for Disease Control, the national childhood obesity rate has tripled in the last 30 years, and the American Journal of Health Promotion reports one in three children under two years old is overweight.

“We’re proud to support this campaign to get children and families moving for healthier, more active lives,” says Stephanie Walsh, M.D., Medical Director of Child Wellness at Children’s. “Georgia has the second highest rate of childhood obesity in the country, and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been working to target the crisis. The funds from winning the contest could help us have an even bigger impact on child health and wellness in Georgia. We hope everyone will vote for the Toregano family’s video to bring home the donation.”

For more information about the Family Dance-off, visit

*Votes received during finalist week, March 20-26.

For more information:
General Contact
Children's PR Team 

About Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has been 100 percent dedicated to kids for more than 100 years. A not-for-profit organization, Children’s is dedicated to making kids better today and healthier tomorrow. Our specialized care helps children get better faster and live healthier lives. Managing more than 870,000 patient visits annually at three hospitals and 27 neighborhood locations, Children’s is the largest healthcare provider for children in Georgia and one of the largest pediatric clinical care providers in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support since 1915, Children’s has impacted the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit for more information.

About Children's Miracle Network Hospitals
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of its mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at

About Primrose Schools

Founded in 1982, Primrose Schools is the nation’s leader in providing consistent, accredited early childhood education and child care services in more than 200 schools in 16 states. Primrose School’s foundation is based on a dedicated and passionate group of early childhood professionals providing high quality education with a balance of learning, character development and play.

 Primrose School’s Balanced Learning® Curriculum blends teacher-directed and child-initiated activities and is consistently delivered in all Primrose Schools nationwide. This exclusive curriculum is standards-based and enables teachers to help children build a foundation of knowledge and skills that will enable them to move successfully from one level of development to the next. Primrose is the first preschool organization in the country to achieve the gold standard in educational accreditation from AdvancED and to require all of its schools to become SACS CASI or NCA CASI accredited.

 For more information, visit

Tags: Childrens Miracle Network, General News, Foundation
Published: Thursday, March 17, 2011