More than $3,000 was raised for the Developmental Disabilities Institute at the “Dancing for Autism” event held at Kings Park High School.
April is Autism Awareness Month and to wrap the month up Vic D'Amore's American Studio of Performing Arts students performed in front of more than 400 attendees to benefit the not-for-profit organization. The students performed 11 different acts in various dance styles, from tap to Irish step, freestyle and more to help DDI, which helps more than 1,000 children and adults with autism. The students ended the night with a performance of Michael Jackson's Thriller.
"It was exciting to see the collaboration that went on between DDI and Vic D'Amore's Dance studio and the sheer enjoyment of everyone involved," said Dan Rowland, DDI's Director of Development.
Melissa Espinal, a direct support professional at DDI who helped coordinate the dance program, said the benefits of the performance were greater than just the financial gains for the organization.
"The sheer energy and excitement could easily be felt in the crowd," she said. "The experience for the DDI individuals of getting to dance at such an exciting level was very special, not to mention the new friendships they made along the way."