TUCSON, Ariz. — Spirited 7-year-old Reagan Imhoff isn’t letting muscle disease stand in her way of dancing on national television this Labor Day weekend.
Reagan will be living her dream when she stars in a professional dance number on MDA SHOW of STRENGTH™ this Sunday, Sept. 2, 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT. The dance was created especially for her by two of the hottest choreographers in the business — Nick Florez and RJ Durell — who’ve worked with Katy Perry, Madonna, Britney Spears and now Reagan.
Reagan is the Wisconsin MDA Goodwill Ambassador. She was diagnosed with type 2 spinal muscular atrophy just a few weeks after her first birthday. Reagan gets around in a power wheelchair.
Reagan makes appearances throughout Wisconsin and recently performed a dance for MDA national sponsor Harley-Davidson in Milwaukee. That’s how she caught the attention of MDA SHOW of STRENGTH producer Debbie Williams.
“After seeing a video of Reagan, I contacted Nick and RJ because I knew they were the only choice to create a dance for her,” Williams said. “Nick and RJ held an audition for the extra dancers, and we carefully selected music and got a stylist to create the costumes and butterfly wings for Reagan’s chair. The result was a magical and impactful moment for the show.”
To add to that magic, Reagan and the dancers are introduced on the Labor Day weekend prime-time show by dancer, choreographer, singer and former American Idol judge Paula Abdul. The performance is set to Christina Aguilera’s song “The Voice Within.”
“We loved Debbie’s idea and absolutely wanted to do this for Reagan,” said Florez. “She had a sparkle in her eyes and was so excited that we felt like we were the lucky ones. We’ll always remember the joy of working with Reagan. Her performance is beautiful and for that moment she was just like the other little girls onstage — she was dancing.”
About MDA SHOW of STRENGTH
MDA SHOW of STRENGTH continues MDA’s Labor Day tradition in a three-hour prime-time broadcast special airing Sunday, Sept. 2, 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT. The show will include entertaining performances, celebrity appearances and inspirational “stories of strength” about families affected by muscular dystrophy and related diseases.
Among the other celebrities and entertainers scheduled to appear are: Carrie Underwood, Pitbull, Carole King, All-American Rejects, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, B.o.B, Brandy, Luke Bryan, Gavin DeGraw, Hot Chelle Rae, Karmin, Tim McGraw, Alanis Morissette, Khloé Kardashian Odom, OneRepublic and more.
In addition to being broadcast on 150 “Love Network” stations across the country, it will be streamed on mda.org.
For information on the rich history of the telethon, visit mda.org/about/telethon-history.
MDA is the nonprofit health agency dedicated to finding treatments and cures for muscular dystrophy, ALS and related diseases by funding worldwide research. The Association also provides comprehensive health care and support services, advocacy and education.
In addition to funding some 300 research projects worldwide, MDA maintains a national network of 200 medical clinics; facilitates hundreds of support groups for families affected by neuromuscular diseases; and provides local summer camp opportunities for thousands of youngsters living with progressive muscle diseases.