Longtime Joffrey Ballet member, April Daly, knows dancing isn't all about the glamour--it's also about using your talents to give back. On August 16, she and other dancers from companies like Joffrey Ballet, Giordano Dance Chicago and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will do just that as they share the stage for Dance for Life Chicago. The evening raises funds for HIV/AIDS care, prevention and education. For Pointe's biweekly newsletter, we spoke with Daly about her involvement.
What will you be dancing?
Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux with Dylan Gutierrez from the Joffrey Ballet. It's very happy and uplifting--the music and the movement. I think it's a piece that celebrates life, so it's fitting for Dance for Life.
How did you get involved in the project?
I first heard about it through Joffrey and performed in it a couple of years ago, but I've also attended as an audience member. The energy in the theater is unbelievable, and it's different than any other performance we do. So when they asked me this summer if I'd be willing to be a part of it, I said 'Absolutely!'
Why is this cause important to you?
In the dance world, and in the world in general, I've had people come into my life who are HIV positive or had AIDS. It's incredible that this event helps so many people--those living with HIV and AIDS, as well as dancers with cancer or leukemia. The Dancers' Fund gives relief to dancers in the Chicago area.
What's it like performing with dancers from a variety of genres?
We're lucky that in Chicago we have so many companies representing different styles of dance. To have an evening where they're all brought together is exciting because I get to meet people that I don't know, and we get to support each other onstage. And it's really special for the Chicago community, too, to have one night where they get a little taste of everything.
What advice would you give to aspiring dancers who want to get involved in similar outreach projects?
As dancers, we work so hard to have a career at whatever capacity we can--it can be at a large or small company--but when you have an opportunity to give back to the community, it's really important. Sometimes you think, 'How can I get involved?' or 'I wish I had more money to give,' but it's nice to be able to help a cause by doing what you do best.
Photo by Herbert Migdoll, Courtesy Joffrey Ballet.
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