Dance to Make a Difference club event raises awareness about suicide


Lili Lomas

Coppell High School senior and Dance to Make a Difference club president Swetha Venigandla balances in an Indian dance pose at the show the club hosted Friday night in the CHS auditorium. The club raised between $800 and $900 for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention through this event.

Lili Lomas, Student Life Editor

On Friday night, the Dance to Make a Difference Club at Coppell High School hosted a show to raise funds for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention (AFSP).The club raised between $800 to $900 in ticket sales, all of which is going toward the AFSP.


The show consisted of several dance performances by club members, all choreographed by club members, as well as performances by other CHS students. At the entrance to the CHS auditorium, attendees could pick up flyers containing information about the AFSP to gain more knowledge about suicide in the United States and what to do about it.


Club president, senior Swetha Venigandla started the Dance to Make a Difference club last year to incorporate her love for dance with her desire to create positive change.


“I have a passion for dance and I wanted to express it in a different way while helping our society so I started the club thinking more people would join and would have the same passion, and they did,” Venigandla said.


Among the performances of the night were dances by senior Devon Hawkins and the Bollywood Dance Club.


The final dance, performed by all members of Dance to Make a Difference, told a story of a girl going through an emotional depression and then coming out of it through the help of friends, sealing the night with an optimistic ending.


CHS senior and club member Sushma Penupala said this dance is her favorite.


“We [were] all together portraying how there’s always people around you and they are always there to help you and support you and you have friends around you whenever you need,” Penupala said.


Club members also performed a dance of Indian classical dance choreography set to “Bailando” by Enrique Iglesias, showing a fusion of cultures and merging the dance backgrounds of the club members.


CHS science teacher Madhavi Phadke operated the sound system for the night and is the co-sponsor of the club. During the preparations for the show, she would supervise the club and allowed them to practice in her CHS classroom. She has experience in Bharatanatyam, a genre of Indian classical dance, and was therefore able to help in the choreographing of the routines for the show.


“If they’re stuck choreographing I just kind of show them a few moves and try to get them to think a little outside their comfort zone or outside of the box,” Phadke said.


Through this event, the club hoped to show that suicide is a serious problem among high schoolers, and raise overall awareness about the issue through dance and donations.