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Four hundred Colorado dancers raise money for cancer

December 13, 2014 Updated: December 13, 2014 at 4:15 am
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Four-hundred dancers. Fifteen choreographers. Five dance celebrities.

Danceworks of Colorado Springs will bring them all together for "The Project," a one-time Sunday performance to raise money for Circle of Hope Dancers Foundation, a national organization that provides financial support to dance educators, choreographers, dancers and their families who have been impacted by cancer. All proceeds from the show and a silent auction will be donated to the foundation.

Dancers ages 3-18 from 10 dance studios around Colorado will present 38 numbers at the three-hour show.

"The show is a mixture of every style of dance," said Lyndzi Barnes, executive artistic director of Danceworks of Colorado Springs and a regional ambassador for Circle of Hope. "Ballroom, jazz, ballet, some 'Nutcracker' pieces, competition studios and recreational dance studios. Every different level of dancers are coming together."

Five national guest performers will join them, including Nick Garcia from the reality TV competition "So You Think You Can Dance"; Kayla Bingham and Alex Blitstein, professional dancers from Los Angeles; Jackie Nowicki, a professional dancer from New York City; and Alex Swader, a 15-year-old cancer survivor and dancer who was a 2014 Circle of Hope recipient.

Last year, a similar event by Danceworks raised $14,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. This year, Barnes hopes to raise at least $8,000 for Circle of Hope - although she's optimistic that, like last year, she'll well exceed her goal.

"We really want to help kids know how to help other kids in the community," Barnes said. "It's an amazing thing to see all the dancers on stage at the end. It's not about anything else but everybody coming together to raise money for one thing."

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