Dancing with charity

Apr 142011
Authors: Colleen McSweeney

Junior dance major Caitlin Radcliffe was one of the many who watched catastrophe hit Japan last month.  But for her, apathy wasn’t an option.

“I was on spring break watching the news with my mom, and I was like, ‘We need to do something about this’,” Radcliffe said. “I knew there was something my major could do to help out.”

This Sunday at 2 p.m., Radcliffe’s humanitarian efforts will be displayed on stage during the “Dance for Change” concert at the University Center for the Arts, and all ticket sale proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross Japanese Relief Fund.

After Radcliffe came up with the initial idea for the concert, she knew support from CSU dance faculty and other sponsors would be needed, so she and a few other interested students approached dance professor Carol Roderick with their plan.

Without hesitation, Roderick agreed to be the faculty advisor for the concert.
“I’m so proud of them for organizing this,” Roderick said. “That’s what philanthropy is — knowing that people are having a harder time than you are and doing something about it.”

But even with the support of the dance department and other dance majors, Radcliffe encountered obstacles regarding funding and how the donation process would work.

That’s when she approached Danny Nelson, a senior health and exercise science major who helps organize philanthropy in Delta Sigma Phi. The fraternity, which does one or two philanthropy events each year, jumped at the opportunity to contribute. 

“Our fraternity would allow (the dancers) to collect and donate money to our philanthropy — the Red Cross. We also had the money to fund such a large scale dance concert,” Neslon said.

With the general logistics of “Dance for Change” worked out, faculty advisor Roderick asked the Japanese Student Association at CSU to see if they wanted to take part in the event.

In conjunction with the Japan Club and Japanese Language Program of CSU, the JSA will speak at the concert and have a table set up selling t-shirts — all proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross.

The concert, which is scheduled to run about hour, will feature 20 CSU dance students performing original contemporary and ballet en pointe pieces.

“If the students of CSU and the community of Fort Collins have never witnessed a performance from the CSU Dance Department, now is the best chance to see a very incredible performance,” Nelson said.
Staff writer Colleen McSweeney can be reached at verve@collegian.com._

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