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Struggling Professional Dancers To Get Help With Outdoor Performances On Rooftop Near Lincoln Center

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A series of special outdoor performances will take place this weekend in Manhattan. It’s all for a good cause — to raise money for struggling professional dancers in the Big Apple. CBS2's Andrea Grymes reports.

Video Transcript

- All right. So a series of special outdoor performances will take place in Manhattan this weekend. And they're all for a good cause.

- It's to raise money for struggling professional dancers in New York City. CBS2'S News Andrea Grymes explains.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

ANDREA GRYMES: For professional dancer, Skylar Brandt, [MUSIC PLAYING], getting back to rehearsing for a live audience show could not come soon enough.

SKYLAR BRANDT: It's extremely thrilling to think that I'll be on stage again in front of people who are watching me in real time.

ANDREA GRYMES: Brandt is a principal dancer at American Ballet Theater, but COVID shut down regular performances for the past year. Like many of her peers across the dance world, she's had to make ends meet mostly by teaching.

SKYLAR BRANDT: I know a lot of my friends have had to give up their apartments in New York City. There's no way for them to even stay here. So it's been incredibly difficult.

ANDREA GRYMES: It's a plight dance activists and producers Melissa Gerstein and Kimberly Giannelli are trying to help alleviate. They just started We Heart Dance NYC to celebrate the dance community and raise money for those struggling.

KIMBERLY GIANNELLI: We just saw it how can we safely give them an opportunity to go back on stage and have live dance happening in the city, have live audiences come and enjoy art again, and do some good while we're at it.

ANDREA GRYMES: These rehearsals are for the organization's fundraiser on Sunday. A series of outdoor dance performances at the Empire Hotel rooftop near Lincoln Center.

MELISSA GERSTEIN: We are going to see ABT, New York City Ballet, we're going to see Broadway, we're going to see Tap. It's all going to come together. Tango. All disciplines of dance come together.

ANDREA GRYMES: The money raised will not only go towards paying the participating dancers, but also towards a special fund for those who need financial assistance.

SKYLAR BRANDT: I just simply can't wait.

ANDREA GRYMES: COVID may have taken away the big stages for now, but it can take away the passion from these dedicated performers. On the West side, Andrea Grymes, CBS2 News.

- Now, the rain date is April 18. And the tickets start at a very reasonable $50.