Canada's YMCA Strong Kids Campaign continues riding wave from star choreographer Kelli Gautreau

Feb 10, 2014, 09:00 ET from KELLI GAUTREAU

TORONTO, Feb. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - YMCA's across Canada are reaping the benefits of their 2013 'Strong Kids' campaign. According to the YMCA website, over 58,000 donors donated $11.4 million across the country. One of the key contributors to this campaign is critically acclaimed dancer/choreographer Kelli Gautreau, who collaborated with the YMCA to create an original music video, in which sponsors donated money for ever view. The music video ran for a 90-day limited engagement on YouTube reaching over 20 countries and 1,116,604 million views. The children cast for the project were hired to dance in the video as well as sing. A new recording of the song,"Strong Kids," is set to hit iTunes early spring of 2014.

YMCA brought Chris Cochrane on board to direct, a notable videographer for the likes of Justin Beiber, Paul McCartney and more. From there, Cochrane hired Gautreau. "We were needing this video to go viral and fast. I knew Kelli was the perfect choreographer for the job," says Cochrane. "Her concept and choreographic vision helped make our music video an overnight sensation."

"I love performing," says Gautreau of the experience. "But my bigger passion is choreographing and working with kids. This gig gave me the chance to do both."

"Kelli is so amazing to work with," says 13-year-old Evan Oldfield, who played the lead dancer in the music video. "I want to be a professional choreographer like her when I grow up."

The highly decorated dancer/choreographer recently won "Best Choreographer" at Shine Dance Competition in Kingston, Ontario, involving over 800 entries and 50 choreographers. Gautreau has also performed in high profile musical productions through out Canada & the United States, including the Broadway tour of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Broadway Backwards, Disney's: High School Musical, Disney's: Beauty and the Beast and Hairspray. In these performances, she has shared the stage with the likes of, Ne-Yo, Cyndi Lauper, Florence Henderson, Tony Bennett, Shaka Khan, George Takei, and Paul Anka,

Gautreau is currently working on a music video to raise awareness for teen suicide prevention. It is set to start rehearsals summer of 2014.

For information on YMCA  and their 'Strong Kids' Campaign, go to