Raising Awareness About Asthma by Keeping the Memory of a Fellow Dancer Alive

FAITH Dance Project Raises Funds to Support Lung Association’s Mission

(November 23, 2011)

 

The FAITH Project was established in 2005 to create a memorial donation fund to the American Lung Association in New York in loving memory of Faith Floridia, a Long Island native and alumnus of the Frank Ohman School of Ballet, whose life and promising dance career came to an abrupt halt following an asthma complication.

The FAITH Dance Project is the brainchild of Integral Ballet Company’s artistic director, Erin Drennan, a classmate of Faith’s at the Frank Ohman School who also danced alongside her in numerous ballets, including Ohman's Fantasia.

FAITH Dancers
FAITH Project Dancers are shown performing for senior citizens at the Nathan Hale Senior Village in Lynbrook. The FAITH Project’s mission is to share the beauty of dance with the community while raising awareness about asthma and funds to support asthma management.

“Faith Floridia was an inspiring young dancer who had a bright future ahead of her,” said Drennan.  “When I heard the news that Faith had died after an asthma episode, I felt compelled to do something to keep her memory alive and raise awareness about asthma.  I thought, what better way to remember Faith than through dance which she was so passionate about.  That’s really how the FAITH Project was born. I think Faith would be proud of what we’re doing to train young dancers, promote an appreciation for the art in our community, and help raise needed funds to fight asthma.” 

Since its inception, the FAITH Project has raised thousands of dollars to benefit the research, education and advocacy of the American Lung Association in New York.  This year, FAITH Project dancers performed Ballet’s Greatest Ghost Stories:  Excerpts from La Bayadere, Les Sylphides, and Giselle which netted a generous donation to support the Lung Association’s work.    This year’s performance was particularly special as Natalie Floridia, Faith’s youngest sibling, performed for the first time with the youth company.

“The FAITH Project is unique in so many ways,” said Drennan.  “Not only are we giving young dancers an opportunity they wouldn’t otherwise have to perform a ballet in its entirety, we’re bringing the beauty of dance to people in our community who otherwise might not have the chance to enjoy it.  The work we do is all the more rewarding knowing that what we’re doing is helping to benefit those who suffer from asthma.”

More than 1.1 million adults across New York State suffer from asthma, a chronic disease of the lungs.  While there is no cure for asthma, asthma attacks can be prevented and controlled with proper care. The American Lung Association in New York works throughout the state with community coalitions, schools and families to improve asthma outcomes by providing asthma management education.

To learn more about the Faith Dance Project, click here. To learn more about asthma and the Lung Association’s program’s click here.