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Brenda Braxton, Felicia Finley Join NYC Dance Alliance Foundation Gala


NYCDAF Executive Director Joe Lanteri director of Bright Lights! Shining Stars!, a gala event to benefit the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation has announced that "Smokey Joe's Café" stars Brenda Braxton, Felicia Finley, Ramona Keller & Deb Lyons will reunite to perform one of the great Leiber & Stoller hits from the smash musical at the star studded gala.

The gala will also feature the reunion of the Pulitzer Prize & Tony winning musical "In the Heights" and will honor the legendary Roberta Flack with the NYCDAF's First Ambassador for the Arts Award on August 1, 2011 at the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU. 566 LaGuardia Place, New York. The star studded evening of song and dance directed by renowned choreographer, dancer and instructor Joe Lanteri will also feature the awarding of $50,000+ in college scholarships to promising young dancers. The event follows fresh on the heels of the NYC Dance Alliance National Convention at which a staggering $2.8 Million in college scholarships was awarded to promising to young dancers from across the country, Costa Rica and Canada
Honorary Co-Chairs of the gala are Cassandra Seidenfeld Lyster and Robin Cofer. The Event Committee includes Kimberly Tiberi-Adams, Lisa Danias, Nancy Epstein, Christopher Freer, Cindy Lapes, Ramona Singer and Liz Tillotson. NYCDAF Honorary Committee includes: Ava Astaire McKenzie, Andy Blankenbuehler, Jacques d'Amboise, Susan Jaffe, Jerry Mitchell, Desmond Richardson, Chita Rivera and Michael Terlizzi. NYCDA Choreographers are Chloe Arnold, Andy Blankenbuehler, A C Ciulla, Scott Jovovich and Andy Pellick.

Highlights of the evening will include two special cast reunions: Lin-Manuel Miranda and the cast of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Ward winning musical "In the Heights" especially for this event & "Smokey Joe's Café's" Brenda Braxton, Felicia Finley, Ramona Keller and Deb Lyons reunite to perform one of the great Leiber & Stoler hits from the Tony nominated musical; a special performance by NYCDA alumni Tade Biesinger star of "Billy Elliot", a solo by Desmond Richardson of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, recipient of the 2011 60th Capezio Dance Award and hailed by The New York Times as "one of the great modern dancers of his time,; Clifton Brown formerly with Alvin Ailey; Tony nominee Karine Plantadit from "Come Fly Away"; a special tribute in song & dance to the incomparable Ms. Flack and much more.
NYCDA Studio Guests in special performances include Next Step Dance, TX and KJ Dance, TX NYCDA Choreographers Chloe Arnold, Andy Blankenbuehler, A C Ciulla, Scott Jovovich and Andy Pellick

The evening will begin at 6:00 pm with a Red Carpet Cocktail Reception, at 7:30 pm the Awards Tribute & Special Guest Performances and awarding of $50,000 in scholarships followed by a Post Show VIP Dessert & Champagne Party in the Skirball's magnificent Rosenthal Room.

Sponsors for the gala evening are Capezio, Dance Magazine, Steps on Broadway and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

VIP tickets for Bright Lights! Shining Stars are $300 & include red carpet reception, VIP seating for awards show & after party. General seating tickets for the awards show only are $125 and $75. (20% off general seating - use code: NYCDA20) $25 Balcony seats- use code: DANCER


To inquire about VIP Tickets, sponsorship packages, journal ads or to purchase tickets contact Travis Fritsche at or 855-692-5678 or visit

The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation is dedicated to empowering the next generation of professional dancers by advocating education and offering scholarships for secondary and college training. For the past 16 years, the NYCDA has lead the industry in offering professional weekend conventions exposing young dancers to the best of the New York City dance world in a supportive, positive and fun environment and helping them take their first steps into the professional world.

Under the auspices of Executive Director Joe Lanteri the NYC Dance Alliance National Dance Convention, the culmination of scores of local gatherings held throughout the year, has become the single most important scouting opportunity for college and university recruiters and their scholarship committees. No surprise as NYCDA alumni number among the ranks of such dance companies as Alvin Ailey, Cedar Lake Ballet; scarcely a Broadway musical is without a dancer from NYCDA and the world famed Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular recruits much of it young talent via NYCDA.

The Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the presentation of cultural and performing arts events for New York University and lower Manhattan. Led by executive producer Jay Oliva (President Emeritus, NYU) and senior director Michael Harrington, the programs of Skirball Center reflect NYU's mission as an international center of scholarship, defined by excellence and innovation and shaped by an intellectually rich and diverse environment. A vital aspect of the Center's mission is to build young adult audiences for the future of live performance.


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