Starting Over

Imagine a promising young ballerina walking home from a performance. But there’s no happy ending to her day: She’s struck by a car and ends up fighting for her life in the Denver Health ICU after suffering a significant brain injury. Three months later, she finds herself in a wheelchair, relearning how to walk and talk and about to embark on a grueling regimen of physical therapy and rehab. It sounds like the stuff of movie scripts and soap operas, but it really happened to local dancer Amy Hollinger, a Kirov Academy graduate who apprenticed with the Colorado Ballet before moving on to work with various Front Range companies.

The work ahead for Hollinger will not only be physically and mentally taxing, however. It’s also expensive, and to ease that load, seventeen regional companies will join together for an Amy Hollinger Celebration and Dance Benefit tonight at the Pinnacle Performing Arts Complex.

Hollinger’s buddy and Kirov roomie Amy Fogarty acknowledges that the work is just beginning for her friend, but she’s hopeful. “Amy is such a ballerina; she lived and breathed being a dancer,” she says. “It’s been really hard to see her in a hospital bed these last months, but she’s as strong anyone I know. If anyone can, Amy can pull through this.” And it won’t hurt that the diverse local dance community — composed of companies who normally might not mingle — is coalescing in solidarity to help. “Shortly after the accident happened, I sent out a Facebook message to all our dance friends in the community,” Fogarty recalls. “And within four hours, there was nonstop messaging — hundreds of messages giving support. I know it will mean a lot to Amy to know that all these companies are dancing together. It’s going to be a really great night.”

The dance fundraiser begins at 7 p.m. at Pinnacle, 1001 West 84th Avenue in Westminster, and ends with a special duet for Amy performed by Fogarty and another close friend; admission is a suggested donation of $20. For information, visit the Amy Hollinger Dance Benefit page on Facebook.
Sat., Jan. 19, 7 p.m., 2013

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd