UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — Practically every dancer on the stage in the iHeartDance fundraiser has a story to tell about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Two dancers left their dream job with Russia’s prestigious Mikhailovsky ballet just as the invasion of Ukraine was starting.

“We cannot help so much but we can with dance,” said ballet dancer Andrea Lassakova. Her dance partner, Adrian Blake Mitchell, said, “I know so many people are against the war but are afraid to speak out, as I was, as we both were when we lived in Russia.”

These Ukrainian ballroom dancers are worried about their family back home. “The last time I spoke with my mother was March 2,” ballroom dancer Antonina Skopin said. “And there is my mother and grandmother in Mariupol and my grandfather passed away because of lack of medication.”

The line wrapped around East 59th Street. It was a sold-out performance at the Florence Gould Theater where tickets cost between $100 and $300.

The organizers of the fundraiser are hoping to raise more than $100,000 to help those in Ukraine. “My heart was breaking and hearing these dancers’ stories abroad and seeing these images of all these families,” said Melissa Gerstein, co-founder of iHeartDance. “The death toll just kept rising and the war just kept getting worse. And I just felt I have to go into action. I had to do something.”

“The ballet community is really coming together to raise funds for the humanitarian crisis,” Kimberly Giannelli, co-founder of iHeartDance, said. “More than 30 dancers donating their time and their talents. Dance unifies and creates change, so it’s a perfect match.”

Eleven-year-old Ukrainian ballet prodigy Yelyzaveta Bidenko left her homeland just before the invasion and is grateful to those giving money to the relief efforts. The audience truly loved the little Ukrainian ballerina.