HACKENSACK, N.J. — In the midst of a devastating pandemic, there’s only one way the YWCA of Northern New Jersey thought could help the saddened world out of a funk while raising much-needed funds towards its mission: dancing!

To sustain their much-needed programming during these difficult times, the Hackensack-based nonprofit which works to empower women, eliminate racism, and promote equality threw a three-day Virtual Dance Party fundraiser entitled “Dancing Through the Decades” from 8 to 9 p.m. on May 19, 20 and 21 on Instagram Live. 

The evening was what YWCANNJ CEO Helen Archontou said brought “energy, joy and fun into the homes of supporters and community friends” while helping the nonprofit continue their commitment to those they serve and keep them moving. The three-day party did just that. A different celebrity DJ was featured on each night who spun classic hip-hop and R&B dating back to its golden age to the hits of today.

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DJ Aktive, who has trotted the globe with the likes of Janet Jackson, Kanye West, Nas and Common kicked off the celebration on Thursday spinning hits from Missy Elliott, Nellie, Bruno Mars, Drake and P. Diddy. Within 10 minutes of his sweat-inducing, hour-long fiesta, more than 2,000 people tuned in to watch the charismatic spinner work his skills on the record player.

Keeping the party going the following evening was DJ Twins Angel and Dren. The Bronx-based sisters born to Jamaican immigrants have played major music festivals from The Governors Ball to Coachella. That night, their transitional talents were evident as they played hip-hop and R&B from the 1980s and ‘90s, deftly switching up scintillating tracks from Lauryn Hill to A Tribe Called Quest.

The evening went out with a bang when DJ Dana Game polished off the three-day event. A self-professed “70s disco baby,” Game had viewers in good spirits as she threw it back to the 1960s and ‘70s. Throughout the spectacle, viewers left comments for the DJs, some of which were simple disco dancing emojis, others read “Girl DJs are the best” while another read, “Say No to Alcohol” and “Donated!”

Supporters made donations during the Dance Party, through the YWCA Northern New Jersey Facebook page and by texting “Equality” to 707070 on their cell phones. 

Funds will go towards supporting the Y’s many programs including healingSPACE, Bergen County’s only Sexual Violence Resource Center, which provides uninterrupted support services and counseling to survivors, in addition to their year-round child care, swim, and wellness programs. 

To learn more by the Y’s mission, visit them on the web at ywcannj.org, follow @ywcannj on Instagram, and download the healingSPACE app from the app store.