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A campus dance company wants to bring a little sunshine -- make that a little spark -- into the lives of West Philadelphia residents in need of it. The group is called the Sparks Dance Company, and for three years the all-female volunteer troupe has been going to nursing homes and children's hospitals in an effort "to be able to bring entertainment to people who couldn't get it [otherwise]," according to Sparks' President Helaine Greenberg, a College and Wharton junior. Greenberg said the group was formed "to see that you can really make a difference . . . all of us love to dance." The dance company performed Monday night at the Ronald McDonald House, a temporary home for terminally ill children and their families, on the 3900 block of Chestnut Street. About 30 children, parents and staff attended the show. The 12 members in the group started by asking children from the audience to join them in their warm-ups. College sophomore Robyn Glassman led the stretching and jumping exercises, which were used as a way to make the kids feel comfortable with the group. For 45 minutes the group danced to all kinds of music, ranging from George Michael and the Pink Panther to a good-old-American tap number. The dancers were always smiling, trying to make the audience have fun. "It's great to make people happy doing something we love," said Engineering and Wharton junior Adine Nahum, the group's performance coordinator and president-elect. "It's bringing a part of us to them," College junior Rhonda Ebert said. "We have a lot to offer." Eight-year-old Beverly Griffiths, a Ronald McDonald House resident, clearly enjoyed the show. When asked how much fun she had, she simply stretched her arms and said "[they were] more fun than from that wall to that wall." "They dance good . . . very good," she added. Sparks Dance Company is recognized by the Student Activities Council as a community service performing group. It performs four or five times in the Spring semester, and Greenberg said members are trying to find transportation so they can perform farther from campus. "I would like to see [the group] get bigger . . . reaching more people," Ebert said. The Sparks Dance Company will seek Performing Arts Council recognition next year and will begin holding auditions in the fall.

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