Shular Azhar will perform at Dancing for Toys.

Shular Azhar will perform at Dancing for Toys.

Dancing with Toys collects this Friday for Salvation Army

PORT ANGELES — Community members will dance their way into the hearts of local children for a good cause at the 14th annual Dancing for Toys event at 6 tonight.

The event will be in the Pirate Union Building at Peninsula College, 1502 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

Each year, the price of admission is a new, unwrapped toy. The event produces thousands of dollars in toy donations for the Salvation Army annually, according to Peninsula College.

This year’s slate of dancers includes two groups that have performed at all 14 shows: Siouxzie and the Ladies of Shula Azhar.

In addition to the returning troupes, the Port Angeles High School cheerleading team will offer a new performance while Sequim High School students will present a piece from their Holiday Spectacular.

Organizer Jennifer Mora said the collaboration between community dance groups and the Peninsula College Associated Student Council provides a wonderful dance experience that meets a community need.

“I love that it brings the dancers of the Peninsula together,” Mora said.

“It provides toys for children that may not otherwise get any this holiday, it gives local groups an opportunity to perform and it brings the community together with family entertainment.”

The event was founded by Lydia Samperi, who taught a Middle Eastern dance course at the college in 2002 and has been going strong ever since.

“Our student leaders have been partnering with Lydia and Jenny for years on this event,” said Rick Ross, associate dean for athletics and student life.

“We have events throughout the year in the PUB, but never does it come alive like it does for Dancing for Toys. It’s a genuine dance party for all ages, and the contribution they make providing toys to the Salvation Army is overwhelming and truly heartwarming.”

Samperi will bring a special guest to perform this year, according to Mora, who also hinted that the Port Angeles Storm Troopers might also make an appearance.

Participants are asked to bring a new, unwrapped toy or a new, unwrapped teen-appropriate holiday gift.

For more information, contact Ross at rross@ or 360-417-6533.

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