By Tony Judnich
VIERA - Children at Devereux Florida in Viera will benefit from the passion and hard work of dancers from the Dussich Imperial Dance Company.
The company, made up of students from the Dussich Dance Studio on Merritt Island, recently performed its 10th annual benefit gala at Merritt Island High School and raised $3,000 for Devereux's programs and services.
The nonprofit Devereux Florida provides assistance to 132 children with mental health and developmental disabilities.
Tina Smith, administrator of the Devereux Florida campus in Viera, and Barbara Lupton, the organization's special projects coordinator, received a $3,000 check from Dussich Dance Studio co-owner Liz Bevilacqua and a few of the dancers March 25.
"It's so nice that these kids (from the dance company) help other kids," Mrs. Lupton said.
Ms. Bevilacqua said beginning last summer, the dancers gave up many of their Saturdays to rehearse for the gala.
She said the dancers at Dussich Dance Studio range in age from 10-17 and that, over the past three years, the studio has contributed more than $10,000 to Devereux Florida.
Dancer Emily Hagen, a junior at Edgewood Junior/Senior High School on Merritt Island who is in her fourth year in the Dussich Imperial Dance Company, enjoyed assisting Devereux.
"It's just nice to be helping," she said.
Fellow dancers Brittany Belluccio and Andrea Preciado agreed.
"It feels good to know we're helping other kids," said Brittany, a Merritt Island High School sophomore who is in her third year with the dance company.
"I think it's important for people to give back to the community and to make it better all the way around," said Andrea, a Rockledge High School junior who is in her first year with the company.
Ms. Bevilacqua said the dance company's recent gala celebrated the Dussich Dance Studio's 50th anniversary.
The show included members of Dussich Imperial Dance Company performing ballet, contemporary jazz, tap, hip-hop and musical theater pieces, and special appearances by professional dancers such as Dussich Dance Studio alumni Peter Chu and Robert Hill.
Contact Tony Judnich at (321) 751-5954 or Judnich@hometownnewsol.com.