The Elms College Dance Team will host an eclectic concert to benefit the We Love Riley Fan Club at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, in Veritas Auditorium.

Dance Team Concert to Support Children with Cancer

The Elms College Dance Team will host an eclectic concert to benefit the We Love Riley Fan Club at 7 p.m. on Sunday, April 12, in Veritas Auditorium.

Dance Team Concert to Support Children with Cancer

The Elms College Dance Team supports more than just the college’s athletics and community. “We strive to reach out, and support and enliven the dance scene in our Western Massachusetts community,” said Justine Butler, the dance team’s logistics coordinator and SNA co-treasurer.

To that end, the dance team has planned a dance concert in support of the We Love Riley Fan Club, an organization that promotes childhood cancer awareness and research, and provides assistance to children and families living with this disease. The organization -- named for 8-year-old Riley Román of South Hadley, Massachusetts, who died of pediatric brain cancer in 2012 -- also raises money to donate Starlight Fun Center Mobile Entertainment Units to hospital departments serving children with brain cancer and brain tumors. “This is our third year of hosting this event in partnership with this organization,” Butler said.

The dance team is a club sport comprising six members. Kristina Lando is the senior captain; Maureen Holland, director of social work, and Jocelyn Provo, assistant director of annual giving, are the club’s advisors. Dance coach Noel St.Jean-Chevalier runs practices and choreographs all the team’s pieces.

Fundraising performances enhance Elms students’ educational experience, according to St. Jean-Chevalier. “The dancers gain organizational and planning skills from the development of the event, including securing artists and scheduling,” she said. “Artistically, they expand their repertory beyond their pom routines for basketball season, and explore contemporary and modern dance in a concert setting, an opportunity previously not available to Elms students.”

“Participating in events like this allows us, as students, to reach beyond our academic potential, and learn how to reach out and see the change that can be made in our community,” Butler said. “College isn't just about growing as a student with the hopes of graduating with a career. It is about growing in character and faith to ultimately reach our fullest potential, so that we may thrive in our ever-changing world. Dance, academic and community events help us to become well-rounded and passionate individuals.”

The program is designed to be eclectic, Butler noted, so there will be something for everyone. “There will be different styles of dance, from hip hop to contemporary.There will be dancers of all different ages and experience levels, from beginners to professionals,” she added. “In addition to dancers, we will have live music and even circus performers.”

The show -- which will begin at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 12, in Veritas Auditorium -- will be approximately 90 minutes long, with a 15-minute intermission during which refreshments and baked goods will be sold.

Admission at the door is $8 for adults and $5 for students, cash or check only. Attendees who reserve tickets online at http://bit.ly/1Hn5OaW pay the student price for all tickets. Checks can be made payable to The Elms College Dance Team. Additional donations are also welcome. For more information about the We Love Riley Fan Club, visit http://bit.ly/1DAnUad.