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Mad Hot Ball Gala Celebrates the Future of Dance With Bebe Neuwirth and More

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Virtual Mad Hot Ball Honorees included Zikomo Barr, Jill Sternheimer, and the New York Junior League.

Mad Hot Ball Gala Celebrates the Future of Dance With Bebe Neuwirth and More

New York City's dance education organization, Dancing Classrooms, live-streamed its popular annual fundraiser, known as The Mat Hot Ball on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, via YouTube and Facebook at 7:00pm EST. This was Dancing Classrooms' first virtual fundraiser since COVID-19 caused the postponement of the beloved event and cancelation of in-school programming last spring.

The Virtual Mad Hot Ball was an amazing success and the highlight of Stepping into the Future - a campaign to ensure young people across the NYC region continue to experience the joy, connection, and social-emotional benefits of social dance. Proceeds from the Stepping Into the Future campaign have raised over $187,000 to date, which will go towards providing Dancing Classrooms' remote learning programs to schools, community groups, and families and in-person school residency and out of school time programs as soon as it is safe to do so again. The public can continue to participate in the campaign through October by texting "FUTURE2020" to 44321.

"Congratulations to our 2020 Mad Hot Ball honorees! And, our heartfelt thanks to all our generous supporters as Dancing Classrooms continues its work, in these unprecedented times, to cultivate 'defiant joy' and support mental and physical wellbeing in young people through the power of social dance," says Nancy Kleaver, Dancing Classrooms Executive Director.

The online gala was hosted by Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Bebe Neuwirth, known for her portrayal of Lillith Crane on the TV sitcom "Cheers" and its spin-off "Frasier" and of Velma in the original revival cast of "Chicago" on Broadway. Guests who made donations of at least $500 received an exclusive invitation to join the VIP Cocktails with Neuwirth, which featured A-K Hada - head mixologist from New York's legendary speakeasy PDT. A-K Hada crafted a one-of-a-kind cocktail exclusively for Dancing Classrooms and its Stepping into the Future campaign! Ballroom Illuminati Michael Choi and Vanda Polakava also premiered a dance choreographed for the event by frequent So You Think You Can Dance guest choreographer Edward Simon.

Special guests throughout the evening included; Jeannie and Olivier Egas-Trouveroy; Pierre Dulaine; Yvonne Marceau; and Carrie and Arthur Steinmetz. The virtual event concluded with a Living Room Dance Party, led by Dancing Classrooms' Teaching Artists and students, and featured live music by The Paul Errico Quartet.

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