Students at the Connecticut Dance School raised about $5,000 for a charity foundation that provides dance therapy for children with cancer and special needs, the school announced.

The highlight of the school's Dance Across America fundraising drive was a class taught at the Fairfield school on Saturday, June 15, by Leslie Browne, former American Ballet Theater principal dancer.

Dance Across America is a national fundraiser to benefit the Andrea Rizzo Foundation, which provides dance therapy to children at hospitals, Ronald McDonald Houses and public schools nationally.

The late Rizzo was a childhood cancer survivor, dancer and special-education teacher. She was training at New York University to become a dance therapist when she was killed by a drunken driver on her way home from a dance performance in 2002.

Browne, who starred as a young ballerina with Mikhail Baryshnikov in the 1977 film "The Turning Point," conducted an intermediate-to-advanced class in Fairfield for 39 students. They were from Connecticut Dance School and other area studios and ranged from sixth-graders to college students.

Seven of the local school's 15- and 16-year-old students organized its Dance Across America drive, which also included fundraising by younger dancers earlier this year.