Dancers tap, tango and flip for Cancer fund

The gym in Packer Hall was packed last Thursday for the first ever Dancers for Cancer event.

The event, presented by the TCNJ dance team, included performances by the Dance Team, Synergy, the TCNJ step team, the TCNJ Cheerleaders, Lamda Theta Alpha, Lamda Theta Phi, Alpha Psi Chi and solo performer Carolyn Blum. All proceeds from the ticket sales and a raffle will benefit the American Cancer Society.

Hosts for the evening were Raul Francisco and Andrea Stearly, who opened the show by introducing the “hot, sexy, sizzling” Dance Team, performing their rendition of “The Cell Block Tango” from “Chicago.” There was no shortage of skin for this number with the team dressed in black and sheer outfits. They shook and stretched and slinked their way across the floor as the dancers took turns representing the performers from the movie.

Kathy Malley, a professor in the physics department and adviser to both the Dance Team and Synergy, was very impressed with the performances. “They really work hard,” she said. “They’re very self-motivated.”

The teams also choreographed some numbers, including “Extravaganza,” which was performed by Synergy. The number was a mix of pop, rock and R&B songs choreographed by members Lauren Hoffman and Bettina Lefanto.

Blum also choreographed her own clogging routine to “Life is a Highway,” a type of dancing that uses steel taps attached to the soles of the shoes. The sound comes from the taps hitting each other, rather than hitting the floor as in regular tap-dancing. Blum has been clogging since she was six years old and her experience paid off in a performance that received comments of surprise and admiration from the audience.

Five members of the cheerleading squad also contributed a routine. Cautioned by the hosts “not to try this at home,” members of the audience gasped as the cheerleaders tossed one of their squad up in a series of flips and turns. Each toss was performed one after the other with barely a pause in between and they didn’t set the flying member down until the end of the routine.

Most of the audience members were there supporting family and friends as well as the American Cancer Society. Parents like Pam Lefanto were there for their daughters and others like freshmen Christy Fletcher and Katherine Keitel supported their sorority sisters.

“It’s a really good cause,” Danielle Bertran, junior biology major, said. “A lot of people in my family have had cancer.”

“And,” she added with a laugh, “three of my suitemates are involved.”

In between numbers, the hosts raffled off prizes. Rather than give the typical cash awards, the Dance Team used gift certificates and variety baskets that had been donated by local businesses, so that all monies could go to the Cancer Society.