Our Lady of Confidence Day School (OLC) students Sean and Nathaniel (center, in dark shirts) joined students from St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls for their third annual Dance-A-Rama, March 10. The six-hour charity dance marathon raised more than $11,000 for OLC. (Photo courtesy of Trish Decker)

A new tradition at a Northeast Philadelphia Catholic high school is keeping students on their feet – literally.

Some 200 participants gathered March 10 at St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls for the third annual Dance-A-Rama, a six-hour dance marathon for charity.

This year, the initiative raised more than $11,000 for Our Lady of Confidence Day School (OLC), one of four archdiocesan schools of special education and a beneficiary of the Catholic Charities Appeal.


With two campuses – one at St. David Parish in Willow Grove, the other at Bishop McDevitt High School in Wyncote – OLC provides comprehensive instruction and vocational training for students with intellectual disabilities. The school is accredited by the Middle States Association’s Commissions on Elementary and Secondary Schools.

For the March 10 event, St. Hubert students teamed up with sponsors, local businesses, staff, alumnae — and teachers, several of whom agreed to sit for a pie-throwing activity.

“They pied the principal, they pied the chemistry teacher, they pied the math teacher,” said St. Hubert president Lizanne Pando, herself a target. “It’s just whipped cream, and it’s all for a good cause.”

Dance-A-Rama is much more than an annual fundraiser for a worthy cause, noted Pando.

“The girls have built a great relationship with Our Lady of Confidence and other schools of special education,” she said. “They actually go there, and they talk about what they need, and then the OLC kids come here and enjoy the dance.”

OLC students Sean, Nathaniel and Mick did just that, taking several turns on the floor as well as a number of photos with their St. Hubert counterparts, for whom the fun was mutual.

“I enjoyed dancing with the kids from Our Lady of Confidence and having the opportunity to spend time with them,” said senior Brooke Melvin, adding that the evening was “meaningful because I was able to help make things better for these students at their school.”

Fellow senior Hannah McGoldrick agreed.

“I have so much fun each year,” she said. “All of the girls come together to plan and fundraise, and then we spend our night dancing with students from OLC and for all of the kids who can’t.”

One of the evening’s most moving moments took place when Christian singer-songwriter Cory Asbury’s “Reckless Love” began playing. As the opening notes sounded, dancers formed a circle on the floor, holding their cell phone flashlights high, and sang along to the chorus extolling the “overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.”

The number ended with a communal hug, prompting Pando to wipe away a few tears.

“It gets me every time,” she said. “These girls love their Christian rock and eucharistic adoration. The sisterhood and spirit of this school is incredible.”

Students from St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls reveal the amount raised at their third annual Dance-A-Rama benefit, March 10. The funds will support Our Lady of Confidence Day School, one of four archdiocesan schools of special education. (Photo courtesy of Lizanne Pando)