Teaming up with nonprofit organization I’m a Dancer Against Cancer, which provides financial support to dance educators, dancers and parents impacted by cancer, the entertainers filmed a PSA (produced by Green Glow Films) with dancers Ruby Kaufman, Chloe Frank and Ahna Rasmussen, and are using their star power to raise awareness leading up to the charity’s Industry Dance Awards in August.
“When someone you love has cancer, it’s a very hard thing to deal with for them and for you, but the thing that honestly got me through it was my community that I was surrounded by,” Hudgens – who lost her own father to the disease earlier this year – tells PEOPLE.
Julianne Hough – who “started dancing coming out of my mother’s womb,” she jokes – also couldn’t picture a life without her passion. “One thing I love more than anything is being able to bring joy to someone’s life,” adds her brother Derek. “The way you move directly affects the way you feel, and that’s what dancing has done for me.”
When Abdul’s sister was diagnosed with cancer and went through chemotherapy and radiation, “we still danced even if she couldn’t leave the house,” says Abdul. “Even when she was violently ill, we kept playing the music and we kept dancing and smiling and laughing, and I gotta tell you, that was one major focal point that kept her going.”