DanceOn Creates A Chance to Dance On Documentary

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A Chance to Dance On

Local non-profit, DanceOn, created a story and is now ready to share it. “Our film, this documentary called A Chance to Dance On, is a collaboration between a DanceOn cast drawn from dancers from the local area and a studio that supports special needs, or kids with different abilities,” said Greg Long, founder of DanceOn.

That studio is A Chance to Dance in North Carolina. The Naperville organization was originally going to be there to film a dance concept video. But it turned into something else when the film’s director saw a bigger story. “Our daughter works with special needs kids through high school, that’s what she’s going to college for,” said Director Richard Hemmingway. “And so as a group we kind of had this conversation about – can we do this story? Are we capable? Our daughter inspired us to have this conversation about, you can tell a story.”

That story took nine local dancers from our area studios and high schools, a choreographer, and film crew to North Carolina to meet the rest of the cast. In the summer of 2021, everyone spent a weekend making this film.

Long created DanceOn after his son and other male dancers heard derogatory comments during a performance at a local school. A Chance to Dance started up because of the founder’s daughter who is on the Autism spectrum. “We want people to realize that people should be able to do what they love no matter what their ability is and you shouldn’t treat anyone differently just because they’re not like you,” said Mary Long, founder of DanceOn.

Local Film Screening

The Naperville and local area stars of the film were treated to the red carpet experience and premiered their film for a special screening at the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville.

“We we haven’t seen anything yet and there was so many different parts like small interviews that went into this and just getting to see the whole video put together is going to be so rewarding,” said Isabella, one of the dancers in the documentary.

“Just from being there you could feel in the room that it clicked right away and it was going to be so good, and I’m really excited to see that,” said Kylie.

“We experienced a bond with all the kids and with each other but just to replay and watch it from so long ago is going to be so special and exciting as well,” said Avery.

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.