Elevate Cabaret Evening to Benefit Dancing Classrooms Comes To Life!
The exciting world of Dancing Classrooms, that most people know from the award-winning movies that tell its story, such as the Hollywood film starring Antonio Banderas Take the Lead, Mad Hot Ballroom, as well as Dancing in Jaffa, comes alive on the evening of September 19, 2016 for the Dancing Classrooms Contemporaries' premiere cabaret benefit event, ELEVATE during National Ballroom Dance Week, (Sept. 15 - 25 ). ELEVATE will celebrate community impact and artistic success with its line-up of vanguard and live cabaret performances and awards program, all to benefit Dancing Classroom's innovative approach to social and emotional learning, (SEL) with all the benefits of physical wellness,turning 4th and 5th graders into respectful 'young ladies and gentlemen' with self-discipline, self-respect and increased self-esteem.
This year is the 10th Anniversary of the Take The Lead film, where Antonio Banderas plays a character inspired by the founder of Dancing Classrooms, Pierre Dulaine, who introduces students to a mix of ballroom, and hip-hop as well as new self-respect and possibilities.
"Our mission is to cultivate essential life skills in children through the art of social dance," relatesPierre Dulaine, founder. "Our vision is to unite students, parents, schools, and create communities where every child is connected, respected, and provided a safe environment in which to thrive."
Notables supporting the cabaret evening include host and MC, actor, JW Cortes, who plays "Detective Carlos Alvarez" on the Fox hit prime-time series Gotham. Performances and awards will feature bold faced names such as the Honoree, Sam Allen; a Dancing Classrooms New York City;alumnus, dancer and choreographer of music videos, for stars such as Mya and Cappadonna of the Wu-Tang Clan; commercials for brands such as Nike, Canon, and Doritos; and feature films. Melanie LaPatin, the United States Professional Ballroom Dance Champion and world-renowned choreographer on Fox's So You Think You Can Dance and ABC's Dancing With the Stars, will headline an eclectic cabaret line up of live music, dance performance and awards programming while guests enjoy specialty wines and beer; savory hors d'oeuvres; a dessert course; and an online auction.
Begun in one Manhattan classroom in 1994 as the dream of world-renowned ballroom champion,Pierre Dulaine and his long-time dance partner, Yvonne Marceau, to teach the art, fun, and life skill benefits of social dancing such as ballroom, mambo, fox trot, and the hustle in public elementary schools, today Dancing Classrooms has grown into an international arts organization serving more than 200 schools throughout New York City, 25 cities nationwide and internationally, in total serving over 500,000 students. Dulaine's story inspired the award-winningMad Hot Ballroom and the documentary, Dancing in Jaffa, where Israeli Jewish and Israeli Palestinian children came together for the first time through ballroom dance, and theHollywood film starring Antonio Banderas in Take the Lead, the story of a dance teacher who believed in the talent of a group of problem kids.
Highlights of the evening's cabaret entertainment lineup include headline performances by Latin Grammy-nominated, New York's popular all-female Mariachi band, Flor de Toloache; tango orchestra, Pedro Giraudo Tango Orchestra accompanied by Tango for All dancers Ana Padronand Diego Blanco; jazz band, The Bees Knees; party band, Hip Control and USA Dance Ballroom Dancers elevating and inspiring the dance floor. The Musical Director for the event isLuis Guzman, well-known in the Jazz and Latin music circuits. Luis tours regularly with Grammy and Latin Grammy award-winner Lila Downs and Latin pop sensation Thalia as well as being the bass player in the house band for the first season of NBC's La Voz, the US-based Spanish-language version of the popular singing competition The Voice.
A special performance by Dancing Classrooms' Youth Dance Company, the touring professional alumni dance troupe created in 2006 in response to the demand for performances by "the kids from the movie Mad Hot Ballroom," who have performed at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, New York City Center, Madison Square Garden, Jacobs Pillow (Inside/Out), the US Open, will be a highlight of the evening, underscoring the art and community message of Dancing Classrooms.
"Dancing Classrooms is about so much more than dance; our programs involve the community who share in the joy of dancing and the impressive success of their children,"relates Kim Jackson, of Dancing Classrooms Contemporaries and ELEVATE event chair. "Every year we reach an extraordinary amount of children, all of whom achieve tremendous and long lasting benefits from our programs, with the support of a large partner network."
"Beyond the fun and talent aspects of Dancing Classrooms, the importance of children developing emotional intelligence is supported enthusiastically by Dancing Classrooms participants, parents and schools," relates John G. Schultz, Executive Director of Dancing Classrooms, Inc. and Dancing Classrooms Global. "For example our March gala honored Cynthia Germanotta (Founder of Born this Way Foundation with Lady Gaga) and Dr. Marc Brackett trailblazing new opportunities for the social and emotional health of our youth through their powerful collaboration."
Producer of the films Take the Lead and Dancing in Jaffa, where Pierre Dulaine brought Israeli Jewish and Israeli Palestinian children together for the first time through ballroom dance, Diane Nabatoff, will lead the awards presentations to industry and philanthropic leaders, along withDaphna Locker, President of the New York Chapter of USA Dance. The TAKING THE LEAD PHILANTHROPY Award will be presented to top corporate attorney, Rachel B. Coan, who has delivered over $1,000,000. in pro bono services to Dancing Classrooms and the Pierre Dulaine ALUMNI AWARD will be presented to Dancing Classrooms alumnus Sam Allen by Pierre Dulainehimself.
The event's Silent Auction features a wide range of items from the unusual, such as a personalized tour of Greco-Roman collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art with an archeologist and stays at an Italian villa in Tuscany and upstate NY fall foliage retreat; to an exclusive golf outing at St Andrews, a spa package at the Peninsula Hotel or luxury items by Hermes; and of course, group ballroom dance lessons with Pierre Dulaine! The auction will be live online on September 9th at 5pm EST and closes on September 19th, at 10pm EST.
Event sponsors include: Morgan Stanley; Peroni Italy; Blue Wolf Productions; DO, Cookie Dough Confections; Hudson Chesapeake, Ltd.; Insomnia Cookies; Popart and caterer for the event, Food In Motion.
The venue, The Angel Orensanz Foundation, is located at 172 Norfolk Street, New York City. Ticket prices and packages range from $225. to $5500. with the ELEVATE Experience Ticket at $225. as a Single general admission ticket; to the ELEVATE Cabaret Table Ticket at $1,200. which is a Reserved Table for four (4); and the ELEVATE VIP Lounge Ticket: $5,500. which is a Reserved lounge for ten (10) with exclusive table service.
The benefit event committee is chaired by Kim Jackson with event committee members including:Rachel Sullivan, Jade Dressler, Michael Bryan, Jessica Posey and Jan Weiss. The Steering committee members include: Courtney Guzman, Cassandra Freeman, Elizabeth Beller, Brooke Bayer, Dayna Cassidy, Melody Morgan, Laura Arecco and Kara Van Norden.