DARIEN — On May 22, tunes like “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and the “Electric Slide” came blasting out of the gym at Tokeneke Elementary School. But this was more than just a dance party. More than 100 students at the school volunteered to dance to raise money for Tokeneke’s sister school in Bridgeport as part of the annual Kids Care Club Groove-a-Thon.

“I really like it because people can be themselves,” said third-grader Eloise Sheffield. “People can be themselves and it’s supporting a really good cause.”

Each year, Kids Care, a club that teaches students compassion through community projects, sponsors the dance event to benefit Read School in Bridgeport. Tokeneke students were invited to participate, and Read School also had a dance party, courtesy of the club.

“We’ve been collecting playground items through Student Council,” said Sandra Taylor, parent volunteer and Kids Care event coordinator. “We’re hoping (the money we raise) is enough so they can buy something substantial for the playground.”

Through donations, the students raised $3,800 to go toward building a new playground at Read School.

“We are so thrilled we’re able to teach kids about charity and compassion,” Kristen Fiordalis, also a parent event coordinator, said. “This is a great way to show charity.”

The event included snacks, prizes, and music provided by DJ Dale Daniels. Doreen Godfrey and Linda Cicero, of the dance company Dance of the DL, were on hand to help the students get their groove on.

“We’re here to help them get moving and keep the party going,” said Godfrey, who has three daughters at Tokeneke. “A lot of our dance students go here and the event is incredible.

“Dance is about building community,” Cicero said. “This is part of the community we’re building.”

The students also appreciated the event for its charity component, as well as the fun it brings to students.

“It’s really fun and fundraising,” third-grader Lilly Davenport said.

ekayata@hearstmediact.com; @erin_kayata