Morgan Park Academy students performed their annual charity dance show, Dance for Life, on March 1-2, 2019, raising nearly $3,000 to support dance professionals facing critical health issues.

Chicago Dancers United, which launched Dance for Life in 1991, is an organization that supports organizations and dance professionals facing critical health issues. As a catalyst for a unified artistic community in Chicago, Dance for Life uses dance to support a stronger and healthier community focused on health and well-being.

In conjunction with this group, Morgan Park Academy students organize, coordinate, choreograph, produce, and promote their own show to support this cause. This is the 17th year of the student-run dance show. All proceeds go to Chicago Dancers United.


With a whole child educational philosophy, Morgan Park Academy recognizes that each student has many talents, and helps students to realize the power they have to effect change in their world. Students cultivate their passions while also fostering a commitment to service learning and giving to others.

After months of rehearsals, hard work, and dedication, the students were finally able to showcase their talents in this student-run event.

Directed this year by Rachel Sheppard, a sophomore from Morgan Park, 40-plus students in grades 8-12 took the stage for more than a dozen acts each night.

Dance styles reflected the diversity of the MPA student body, with performances featuring modern dance, hip-hop, bachata, K-pop, stepping, tap, and traditional Chinese and Polish dances.


Dance For Life

March 1-2, 2019

Whatever It Takes — Maya, Riley, and Kennedy

Solo — Samaria with Maya (vocals, guitar), Annika (bass), and Olga (guitar)

Duets — Sham and Alexus

Step Team — Kennedy, LaDaeja, and Aiyana

Mandarin Dance — Abbey, Giles, DeAngelo, and Alex

Trio — Danae, Alexus, and Sham

Better When I’m Dancing — Riley

Solo — Rachel


Bachata — Mena, Charles, Mia, Yiorgios, Logan, Sofia, Maya, Tim, Angela, Connor, Zara, Chris, Samaria, Elijah, Murphy, Oscar, Celeste, and Annika

Spanish Mix — Mia, Yiorgios, Rachel, Elijah, Samaria, Chris, Sham, Danae, Zara, Mena, and Chantal

K-Pop — Murphy, Alice, Lana, Lydia, Lucy, Angela, and Abbey

Polish Dance — Chris and Brian

New Edition — Kennedy, Samaria, Sham, Alexus, and Rachel

Finale — Rachel, Samaria, Murphy, Clancy, Zara, Charles, Danae, Mia, Autymn, Maryn, Sham, Chris, Kennedy, LaDaeja, Aiyana, Maya, Angela, and India