• By: OLM Staff

Ottawa Performance: Dancers Give Back

Does dance have the power to heal? Many argue its fluid movements, graceful approach and interpretive quality has the ability to not only tell a story but also evoke emotion. That’s why the annual performance, Dancers Give Back came to fruition. It’s about using the power of dance to both entertain and help others facing medical challenges. On Friday February 28, a special performance is taking place at the Algonquin College Commons theatre. Mark your calendars because this moving performance will give you goose bumps and when you purchase a ticket, the proceeds will be supporting The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Program.

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       Dancers Give Back is an organization that was founded in 2008 by Ali and Mary Alice Dietz in Buffalo, NY. Their very first performance was held to ease medical costs for Ali’s best friend, Jacquie Hirsch. She was battling Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, which took the best of her just weeks before the first event at the age of 23. Since then, Hirsch’s fight became the fight of the Dancers Give Back organization. The events held over the past six years have raised $180,000 and 100% of the proceeds were gladly donated to the A.L.L. (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia) Foundation in honor of Hirsch’s battle and to the Rosewell Park Cancer Institute.


Now, Dancers Give Back has made its way to Canada’s Capital city. Twelve Ottawa dance studios have come together and found one thing in common: each “studio family” has all been touched by someone who has, or is suffering with the death threatening disease: cancer. They are uniting on February 28th to raise money for The Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Support Program, which is close to each performer’s heart. The dancers are hoping to inspire social change through their movement and they believe together, that they dance louder.



“It has nothing to do with competition which is usually what different studios coming together means. In this case it’s a beautiful thing to collaborate and while supporting such an amazing cause.” Said Camryn Forrester, a dancer from Denise Smith dance studio in Manotick.


Candlelighters was established in 1988 and is a not-for-profit volunteer organization. Their mission is to enrich the lives of children and their families coping with childhood cancer and to raise awareness and understanding of the incredible impact that cancer can have on a children and their families. They believe that each child affected with childhood cancer and their families should be free to live and enjoy the best quality of life possible, from the time of diagnosis, through to the completion of treatment and beyond.


Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at the Algonquin College box office, located at E104 in the Student Commons building. The performance starts at 7: 30 p.m. To read more information and watch a Dancers Give Back inspirational video collaboration, please visit: www.dancersgivebackottawa.com.