Dance for a Cure, an annual event executive produced by Elizabeth Lanning, begins at 5 p.m. on May 19 at the Paramount Theatre. There will be a silent auction, with appetizers and wine to begin. The performance starts at 7 p.m. and lasts for about two hours.
While the dance performance itself is held in Seattle, the girls performing are all from the Eastside. Lanning heads Elizabeth’s Dance Dimensions out of Kirkland.
The event is a Mo-Dazz production, a team of pre-professional dancers ages 7-18 who practice at Lanning’s studio. The production is in its 13th year, and the 2018 theme is “Believe.”
Proceeds from the event benefit two worthy cancer charities, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center — which receives 75 percent of proceeds, and Pete Gross House — which receives 25 percent of the proceeds.
“Dance for a Cure is such an amazing event that I am so honored to be a part of,” said Tori, 17, a member of Mo-Dazz. “I will be dancing for my grandma Tony who passed away from pancreatic cancer in 2008.”
Lanning, who has over 20 years of dance experience, including a B.A. in dance from the University of Washington, was inspired to spearhead Dance for a Cure after her sister Tricia was diagnosed with brain cancer.
When she was initially diagnosed, Tricia’s prognosis was not good. She was given less than a one percent chance of surviving her aggressive form of cancer. The former lawyer and UW cheerleader didn’t give up, however.
After going into remission and having the cancer reoccur more than once, Tricia finally won her 16-year battle with the disease. Though blind in one eye from tumors, it didn’t slow her down. She is now a cross-fit instructor and officially cancer-free.
During this time, Elizabeth wanted to help her sister but didn’t quite know how. Dance for a Cure allowed her to contribute to her sister’s cause in her own way, with dance. And it’s been a huge success. In the prior 12 years of its existence, the dance performance has raised over $500,000 for cancer research.