Performances & Events


Women Defining Themselves

An Evening of Raising Awareness for the ALS Center of Excellence

May 11, 2024 | 7:00 pm

Dance Performance Studio Theatre
Dance Building
1000 Baits Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Free - Tickets Required

The concert Women Defining Themselves centers around the idea of women embracing their personal narratives of strength, resilience, loss, and self-expression. This captivating evening intertwines the universal language of dance and music and showcases the unique talents of performing artists who are boldly defining how they show up in the world. Included in the program are University of Michigan dance and music faculty, alumni, graduate students, and regional artists/athletes. Following the concert there will be a reception with food, a hands-on exhibit, and socializing.

Additionally, the event is a collaboration with the ALS Center of Excellence at Michigan Medicine. It will help to raise awareness and funding for ALS research, embodying a harmonious blend of philanthropy and artistic expression. This collaboration not only showcases the captivating power of dance and music as a form of advocacy but also highlights a commitment to use the performing arts to make a positive impact on important causes in the community.

Pre-registration is strongly encouraged but not required. A select number of first-come, first-served tickets will be available at the box office one hour before the start of each performance.

Dance/Wellness faculty member Amy West’s personal statement: Why ALS Center of Excellence?

“My 43-year-old niece, Breanna, is a former dancer who was diagnosed with ALS in October of 2023. As she surrenders to this disease, losing her ability to walk and speak, she has developed a keen awareness of how precious life is as she spends the time she has remaining with family, friends, and especially her three children. Reaching out to the ALS Center of Excellence, and having the evening’s performance Women Defining Themselves be a fundraiser for ALS, is my way of honoring my niece as well as those individuals who live with terminal illnesses.”

Dancing With ALS | Breanna’s Story is a poignant short film capturing the profound journey of siblings Casey Herd and Breanna Olson, former ballet partners who reunite for an emotional pas de deux. Set to the evocative soundtrack of “The Theory of Everything” by Jóhann Jóhannsson, the film unfolds the story of Casey, a former professional ballet dancer, and Breanna, a devoted mother and former dancer, who now faces the relentless challenge of ALS. View the Trailer:

Free In Person Talk Interdisciplinary Live-stream Option North Campus