Holiday dance shows Dec. 15-16 to benefit nonprofit HopeKids Foundation

HopeKids children to share center stage during ‘A Season to Shine’ Dec. 15


Snow falls on dancers from Dance Connection 2 during a previous performance of the holiday show “A Season to Shine.” This year’s shows are Dec. 15-16 at the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center. They will benefit the HopeKids Foundation. (Independent Newspapers/Arianna Grainey)


What do you get when you combine disciplined dance students and children with cancer or other life-threatening illness and a desire to express themselves?

You get “A Season to Shine,” a special program of Dance Connection 2, a Chandler-based dance studio that teams its students with kids from the HopeKids Foundation.

Ava, 7, of San Tan Valley performs during the finale of a previous “A Season to Shine” performance. (Independent Newspapers/Arianna Grainey)

The annual program will culminate in a performance teaming the Hope Kids and dance company members at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 15, at the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center, 22149 E. Ocotillo Road.

DC2 dancers will also perform two more shows, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, to raise funds for the HopeKids Foundation.

HopeKids is a nonprofit organization that provides outgoing activities, events and a powerful unique support community for families with a child who has cancer or other life-threatening illness. HopeKids believes hope is powerful medicine, according to a press release.

“This is a great opportunity for the children of HopeKids Foundation, but an equally great experience for our dancers,” said DC2 owner Maryanna Gooch in the release. “Learning to give back to your community, sharing your gifts and making a positive connection is truly priceless. This is our way of bringing light to the true spirit of Christmas, by providing hope to those in need while creating a special bond between the HopeKids and company dancers in this unprecedented collaboration.”

She adds that, “There will not be a dry eye in the house as the children from HopeKids take the stage Friday night.”

This will be the fourth Season to Shine Christmas show hosted by DC2, with approximately 20 HopeKids and their siblings in attendance.

The performances coincide with the dance studio’s 30th anniversary of teaching dance to kids in the East Valley.

(View a video that gives a glimpse of the program)

“Partnering with Dance Connection 2 on our HopeKids Dance Clinic is a huge blessing,” said Bridget Asheim, spokesperson for the foundation. “This is a chance for the kids to forget about the illnesses they are battling and to just have fun.”

A portion of the proceeds from all three performances as well as a host of sponsorships will be donated directly to the HopeKids Foundation.

Last year’s benefit show raised more than $6,000 for the foundation.

Tickets to each performance are $15 each and are available through the Queen Creek Performing Arts Center.

To purchase tickets, go to

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