Dance company to perform at Arts for Autism

Moving Youth Dance Company of Cranford will head to New York City to perform at the Arts for Autism Concert to benefit Autism Speaks on Monday, June 20.
Moving Youth Dance Company of Cranford will head to New York City to perform at the Arts for Autism Concert to benefit Autism Speaks on Monday, June 20.

CRANLIFE-story-danceforautism2CRANFORD, NJ — On Monday, June 20, Moving Youth Dance Company of Cranford will head to New York City to perform at the Arts for Autism Concert to benefit Autism Speaks. They were one of the six student groups in North America to be selected for this event. They will perform alongside Broadway stars while supporting a wonderful cause.

Concert producer and artistic director Jacque Carnahan said, in a recent press release, “We are thrilled to have Moving Youth Dance Company’s talented performers participate in the event.”

Lisa Rumbauskas of Moving Youth Dance Company explained how they got involved.
“A friend of mine, Alison Solomon, who is currently in ‘Finding Neverland’ and has been associate choreographer for several shows on Broadway, made me aware of the company Believe NYC and the fact that they were looking for schools to participate in this experience last August,” said Rumbauskas. “My co-director, Debbie Coury, and I had just started Moving Youth Dance Company and our heads were spinning, but I thought I just had to submit us for this ‘contest,’ as the experience sounded so wonderful.”

The concert will take place at the Gershwin Theatre, home to the popular show, “Wicked.” The concert will take place on a Monday, when “Wicked” does not have a scheduled performance. All of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Autism Speaks, the nation’s largest Autism awareness and outreach organization.

The concert will include songs from some of Broadway’s most famous shows, chosen to inspire feelings of tolerance, understanding, kindness and compassion. Broadway choreographer and Tony Award winner Chris Gattelli said, in a recent press release, “What an incredible opportunity for such an incredible cause. It’s this amazing win-win that you have performers from all over the country at that age getting to perform on a Broadway stage, which is so many people’s dream. It’s important on all levels.”

Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara will host the show and will be joined on stage by many other Broadway performers for this one-night-only event. The Doo Wop Group is just one of the performers. The concert is being produced by Believe NYC and Educational Travel Adventures. These organizations educate and enrich the lives of young people.

“I am so excited to say that Paul Nolan and Erikka Walsh from the Broadway company of ‘Once’ will be singing with live music for our dancers. We are doing a piece called ‘Falling Slowly,’ which is from the show ‘Once,’ ” said Rumbauskas. “Not only do the dancers get to perform in this event alongside Broadway performers, they also participate in three days of activities including seeing a show, workshops, and dinner with industry professionals.”

Moving Youth Dance Company offers a program for children ages eight to 18. They are taught by professionals in the industry in the fields of classical ballet, Broadway, contemporary and more. The company stresses the importance of versatility in dance and exposure to various backgrounds. The comprehensive training is offered in a positive and supportive environment.

“We are so proud that our ballet company was chosen to perform at the Arts for Autism concert this June,” said Debbie Coury of Moving Youth Dance Company in a recent press release.

This summer, the company will offer its beginner level classes during the first half of July. These classes are aimed at students between the ages of eight and 13 years of age. Placement is ultimately based on technical ability and not age. The beginner class will include training in ballet, jazz and acting. The advanced classes will take place from the middle to end of July. They are recommended for students ages 13 to 18. They will learn ballet, jazz, acting, theater and composition.

The company is located at 118 Walnut Ave. For more information on upcoming workshops, call 908-276-9100, email movingyouth@gmail.com or visit the website, www.movingyouth.com.

COMMENTS