A benefit raises funds for a beloved local dancer

The concert will include dance pieces ranging from classical ballet to original works.

Tess Mueller, who grew up dancing with Vashon Center for Dance, has recently been diagnosed with a serious illness. A benefit dance concert to help contribute to the expenses of her medical care will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at Vashon Center for the Arts (Courtesy Photo).

Tess Mueller, who grew up dancing with Vashon Center for Dance, has recently been diagnosed with a serious illness. A benefit dance concert to help contribute to the expenses of her medical care will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at Vashon Center for the Arts (Courtesy Photo).

A benefit dance concert for Tess Mueller, former Vashon Center for Dance alumna, will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19, at Vashon Center for the Arts.

Mueller, who grew up on Vashon and appeared in many VCD productions, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia and has undergone chemotherapy treatment for the disease in St. Paul, Minnesota, attended by her family who traveled to be with her during her hospital stay.

As a senior in high school, Mueller last appeared in VCD’s “The Nutcracker,” dancing the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy, in 2015. Through her growing up years, she appeared in many other “Nutcrackers” and dance productions.

The narrative for an online fundraising campaign on gofundme.com, created by islanders Anne Atwell and Lisa Breen, said that Mueller’s illness had been caught early, and her full recovery is expected, but the campaign asked for help in offsetting the expenses for her family’s travel to St. Paul and any medical expenses not covered by insurance.

A press release from VCA, urging islanders to attend the concert, said that “Tess has been an outstanding role model in the dance community on Vashon for many years and was a huge help and inspiration to the dance program.” The upcoming benefit concert, it said, would include some of Mueller’s favorite dance pieces, ranging from classical ballet, original works, and even dances from “The Nutcracker.”

There is a $20 suggested donation for the concert. Donations can also still be made to her fundraising platform at gofundme.com.

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