Chicago Dancers United raises $300,000 at 31st annual Dance for Life
Chicago Dancers United (CDU), which supports the health and wellness of Chicago’s professional dance community, welcomed more than 1,700 people to the 31st annual Dance for Life, its primary fundraiser, Saturday August 13 at the Auditorium Theatre, followed by an after party at Venue SIX10. From a combination of ticket sales, contributions, and sponsorships, Dance for Life raised $300,000—exceeding its fundraising goal—to support The Dancers’ Fund, which provides Chicago dance industry professionals with financial support for preventative health care and critical medical needs.
The complete lineup of performing companies included Chicago Dance Crash, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater, Giordano Dance Chicago, The Joffrey Ballet, NAJWA Dance Corps, and Trinity Irish Dance Company.
Randy Duncan choreographed a world premiere finale, Never Enough, with music by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul and additional music by Andy Mitran, featuring dancers from throughout the Chicago area.
“We were so pleased to be back at the Auditorium this year with so many dance fans and supporters who love this annual event,” said CDU Board President Michael Anderson. “Although the pandemic has produced some degree of caution, we were grateful for the outpouring of support for the health and wellbeing of our vibrant dance community.”
During the event, Anderson shared important news: “We are thrilled to announce our newly formed partnership with Howard Brown Health, which will provide an organized approach to health care for those in our dance community who need primary healthcare or pathways to services, such as dental care and mental health.” Beginning September 1, Howard Brown Health will refer Chicago dance community members to primary care physicians, dentists, mental health professionals, and more at its clinics for little to no cost. “This partnership will be a game changer in how we support our dance community, offering this additional level of important resources from Howard Brown Health.”
Co-chairs for Dance for Life 2022 were Jennifer Edgcomb, Ted Grady, and Ross Slotten. Presenting Sponsor was Fred Eychaner. Lead Sponsors were Tim and Paula Friedman, Barbara Levy Kipper, and the Auditorium Theatre.
Each year, Dance for Life showcases the city’s unique variety of dance traditions and styles by bringing together professional dance companies and dancers from throughout Chicago, who unite to support their peers by generously donating their time, energy, and artistry. Throughout its history, Dance for Life has presented 45 Chicago-based professional dance companies representing a variety of genres, sizes, and histories and numerous choreographers, artists, and designers. Additional beneficiaries of Dance for Life are AIDS Foundation Chicago and American Cancer Society.
The mission of Chicago Dancers United is to foster the health and wellness of Chicago’s professional dance community by providing financial support through The Dancers’ Fund for preventative health care and critical medical needs. Anyone working in or retired from a professional capacity within Chicago’s dance community—dancers, technical staff, administrators, choreographers, instructors, accompanists, and more—is eligible. Chicago Dancers United is supported, in part, by Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and the MacArthur Funds for Culture, Equity, and the Arts at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.
For more information, visit chicagodancersunited.org.