Supporting cancer research and programs through the power and artistry of dance

About DFTC

Dance for the Cure Charitable Foundation is a young and growing non-profit organization committed to supporting cancer programs and research through the generosity of the dance community.

Dance for the Cure Charitable Foundation
attained 501(c)(3) non-profit status in July 2014.

How We Got Started

Dance for the Cure, Inc. was founded in 2010 by ballroom dancer Irina Sarukhanyan.

In 2008, Irina Sarukhanyan lost her mother to pancreatic cancer. This loss, as devastating as it was, also acted as the catalyst that led Irina to ask, “What can I do to change the negative effect cancer has on our lives? How can I combine my professional skills and experience as a dancer with my desire to help?”

The answer came in the form of the idea to create an event that would invite the support of the entire ballroom dance community to raise funds to support cancer research. Irina mentioned the idea to her friend and dance colleague, Bill Sapp, who immediately responded,“That’s a great idea. Let’s do it!” And so, the 2010 Dance for the Cure was born.



More than 100 people gathered at the elegant black-tie dinner dance, enjoying the show by top U.S. professionals. Irina had reached out to the “movers-and-shakers” of the ballroom world for their support and the response was wholehearted. The list of those who came through reads like a Who’s Who of Ballroom Dance.

There were many who gave generously of goods, services and financial support who preferred to remain anonymous. Whether recognized or not, the sum added up to a very successful inaugural benefit.

In its first year, Dance for the Cure donated $5400 to the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition.

In 2010, Irina moved from Delaware to Maryland and became co-owner of Chevy Chase Ballroom and Yuletide Ball Championships with Garry Gekhman. The 2011 Dance for the Cure was presented as a more modest, yet equally successful social dance held at CCB.

In July 2014, Dance for the Cure Charitable Foundation was awarded 501(c)(3) status.

Where We’re Headed

Our current goal is to raise active participation in Dance for the Cure Charitable Foundation to a national level. If each dance competition or show features Dance for the Cure events, this goal is readily reachable. We will also work with those who would like to host a Dance for the Cure event. As we plan for our upcoming events, we welcome any donations, contributions, services, and volunteers. Please contact us to discuss how you can “Dance for the Cure!”

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