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Carole Mikita Reporting Ballet West is donating time and talent for an upcoming cancer fundraiser. For many of the dancers, this is personal.
Ballet West's season ended last month, but some are still dancing. Hours of rehearsal and no compensation, all for a fundraiser for the Utah Cancer Foundation, a cause they believe in. Michael Bearden's father has been battling cancer for two years and he knows of many others in our area.
Michael Bearden, Ballet West Soloist: "I think it's our way of using our talent and our gifts to give back to the community that helps us to exist. And it's an honor to be able to give back."
Others, like Katherine Lawrence, have known about the devastating effects of cancer since childhood.
Katherine Lawrence, Ballet West Demi-Soloist: "I had a friend when I was in elementary school and middle school, her mother died of brain cancer. And that was really hard to see her go through that at such a young age, and her family."
This fundraiser is not only about awareness of the disease, but helping survivors find a better quality of life.
Pat Pignanelli is a breast cancer survivor. Now she and her husband are helping with this fundraiser.
Pat Pignanelli, Utah Cancer Foundation: "I'm inspired because it started out that my husband was my caregiver, then my friends, but I didn't know a whole community could do this. And it kind of changes you that you can find the time to do that."
They dance for those recently diagnosed with cancer, for those who are survivors, they dance for life.
Ballet West's 'A Dance for Life', to benefit the Utah Cancer Foundation is Saturday night, May 14th at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. Dinner is at 6:00, the performance at 8:00.