Dancers for Cancer: San Francisco Ballet's James Sofranko Pays It Forward

James Sofranko in Jerome Robbins' The Concert (or, the Perils of Everybody). Photo by Erik Tomasson, courtesy of San Francisco Ballet.

Who says ballet can't cure cancer? DanceFAR or “Dance For a Reason"—the brainchild of San Francisco Ballet soloist James Sofranko and former SFB dancers Garen Scribner and Margaret Karl—raises money for the Cancer Prevention Institute of California. This year's fourth annual star-studded gala takes place tomorrow night at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and will feature some of the West Coast's biggest names in ballet, including dancers from SFB, Alonzo King LINES Ballet and Ballet Silicon Valley.

The lineup also includes American Ballet Theatre principals Marcelo Gomes and Stella Abrera, who is no nonprofit novice herself. In the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the Philippines in November 2013, Abrera formed her disaster relief organization Steps Forward for the Philippines.

Stella Abrera and Marcelo Gomes on the dance floor. Photo by Justin Barbin courtesy of Gillian Murphy via Twitter.

Sofranko and Abrera are just a couple of names on a growing list of dancers who contribute their talents to charitable causes. New York City Ballet principal Daniel Ulbricht's annual “Dance Against Cancer Benefit" has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the American Cancer Society, and ballet dancers from all over the globe appear in Dancers Responding to AIDS' annual Fire Island Dance Festival, which had record-breaking fundraising efforts this past summer.

To date, DanceFAR has raised over $300,000, with tomorrow night likely to show a huge increase.

Sarah Van Patten, San Francisco Ballet principal . Photo by Quinn Wharton courtesy of DanceFAR.

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