When Woodbridge High School plays host to its first invitational dance contest this week, organizers will be rooting for the home team and watching the cash drawer.
High school extracurricular programs must raise more money than ever before in order to weather the Irvine Unified School District's financial crisis.
"It's something we should have been doing all along," said parent Paul Harvey, whose daughter Kathryn is competing in the event. "It's a great way to raise money using the talents of our kids instead of just going out soliciting funds at car washes and things like that."
Harvey, who is helping organize the event, also helped coordinate the school district's first invitational field tournament in November. The event attracted competing marching bands from 18 county high schools and raised about $14,000 for instrumental music programs at Woodbridge and Irvine high schools.
"It's a positive sign that parents are doing this," school board member Mike Regele said. "Parents are looking for solutions and I applaud their efforts."
Dancers from about 15 high schools are expected to compete on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Woodbridge High School gym. Event organizers hope to raise $2,000 from the competition.