Chicago Dancers United Announces Changes

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Chicago Dancers United Announces Changes

The board of directors of Chicago Dancers United (CDU), which works to improve the lives of dance professionals through holistic wellness programs and provide financial support to those diagnosed with a critical health need, is working to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with adjustments to the organization and its activities.

"We are devastated to see the impact of COVID-19 on our entire dance community," said CDU Board President Robert Neubert. "This is an unprecedented time with a great deal of uncertainty. Many in our industry have suffered, with direct impact on individuals' physical health, mental health, and financial security. As a result, we must take measures to ensure our continued ability to support those who need help with health-related expenses."

In response to the pandemic, CDU is temporarily expanding its criteria for support beyond a critical medical diagnosis. For a limited time, CDU will also provide assistance to individuals in the dance community who need assistance with routine medical expenses. More information will be available soon at

"This expansion is consistent with our health-based mission," noted CDU Board Vice President Julie Burman Kaplan. "We want to help those in the dance community maintain their physical and mental health during these difficult times as much as we can."

In addition, to sustain its mission and its ability to meet the increasing need for health-related support in the dance community during these challenging times, CDU is downsizing its administrative operation by eliminating the position of executive director.

Neubert said, "We thank Kesha Pate, our executive director since July 2019, for her efforts on our behalf."

Dance for Life, CDU's primary fundraiser, will take place in August 2020 as scheduled in an adapted format. CDU's board of directors is considering options for the presentation and will announce those plans in the coming weeks. Dance for Life showcases the city's unique variety of dance traditions and styles by bringing together talented, world-renowned professional dancers from Chicago on one night each year. Dancers unite to support those diagnosed with a critical health need by generously donating their time, energy, and artistry to the cause.

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