Dance for Life, which mobilizes Chicago’s dance community by raising funds to support dance professionals facing critical health issues, and its parent organization, Chicago Dancers United (CDU), have announced the appointment of Kesha M. Pate to the position of executive director, effective August 1, 2019.


​Pate will provide vision, strategic direction, fundraising leadership and management expertise to shape the organization’s identity and strategic growth, in accordance with CDU’s mission. She will direct and supervise part-time staff, consultants, interns and volunteers; manage the implementation of all programs and activities; and serve as chief spokesperson representing the organization. She will be responsible for maintaining a strong, visible presence in the community; strengthening current funding relationships; and developing new, diverse sources of funds that ensure the organization will achieve sustainable growth and financial stability.


​"Chicago Dancers United is an amazing organization with a wonderful legacy of supporting the dance community here in Chicago,” Pate said. “I am delighted to join forces with our dedicated and talented board of directors to lead CDU into its next phase of innovative growth and development.”


Pate previously operated her own firm, Ahsek Media, offering consulting and project management services to for-profit and nonprofit organizations, including communications and marketing, digital platform development, strategic and financial planning, technology implementation and project management, and more. A native of Northwest Indiana, she grew up in LaPorte County and earned a B.S. in marketing from Purdue University.


Said DFL/CDU Board President Robert Neubert, “We are very excited to have Kesha join us and are confident she will have a very positive impact on growing both our organization and the dance community at large.”


Dance for Life this year takes place Saturday, August 17 at the Auditorium Theatre, featuring the Partner Dance Companies that perform each year—Giordano Dance Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Joffrey Ballet—joined this year by Chicago Dance Crash, Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s Stone Soup Rhythms and Ensemble Espanol Spanish Dance Theater. The concert also features works choreographed by Robyn Mineko Williams and Randy Duncan. More information is available at ChicagoDancersUnited.org.

Kesha M. Pate, newly named executive director for Dance for Life (photo courtesy of Dancers United Fund).

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Dance for Life Names Kesha M. Pate New Executive Director 

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