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Utah News

Cache Valley Civic Ballet to host benefit for Ukrainian dancers

Thirteen-year-old Mae DeBerard, an 8th grader at Bear River Charter School, is above all a dancer.

“Dance is basically my entire life. I dance around like 40 hours a week. I love to dance. It’s just like, almost like therapy for me like I just couldn't let all my emotions go while just dancing,” DeBerard said.

As part of the curriculum at Bear River Charter School, students are assigned a project to have a positive effect on the world. After hearing about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and specifically, the dancers whose lives and training were affected by the invasion, DeBerard wanted to help.

She decided, with the help of the Cache Valley Civic Ballet and their board of directors, to put together a benefit showcase and recital to raise money for Ukrainian dancers.

“It just hurt my heart, seeing all those people having to change their lifestyle, just to live,” DeBerard said.

Dancers from the Cache Valley Civic Ballet will be performing their solo pieces from the Youth American Grand Prix competition earlier this year as well as ensemble numbers from the company’s annual Choreographer’s Showcase on May 14th at Ridgeline Highschool.

“Dancing around the world is like a dream I've always had so to help like other dancers achieve that is like just makes my heart happy,” DeBerard said.

She had competed internationally through the Youth American Grand Prix and knew that the scholarship organization had been helping Ukrainian dancers find safe places to live, study, and dance. Donations from the benefit will go to the Youth American Grand Prix to aid Ukrainian dancers fleeing the war.

For more information on the fundraiser, visit cvcballet.org.