$2.8 Million in College Scholarships Awarded to Young Dancers
Following a dazzling opening number featuring Broadway stars & hundreds of young dancers from across the country, Costa Rica & Canada, Joe Lanteri Executive Director of the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation got to the real "meat" of the Closing Evening Gala at the Sheraton New York, the announcement of the college and university scholarship winners By the end of the segment, a mind boggling total of $2.8 Million in scholarships were awarded to the most promising young dancers.
Going into this year's Convention, Lanteri had vowed to double the $500,000 given last year and to crack the $1 Million mark. Thanks to the perseverance of his team, faculty and Lanteri himself and the extraordinary efforts of several of the participating colleges and the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, the figure moved up to the amazing total of $2.8 Million by the middle of this week. In making the announcements, Lanteri -termed the evening "a life-changing night for all".
As announcements were read, the cheers became deafening and many grateful parents wept openly at the largesse of the 17 year old organization in helping to make their children's dream realities. NYC Dance Alliance Foundation's mission of empowering the next generation of professional dancers by advocating education and offering scholarships for secondary and college training was never more fully realized than on the stage of the Grand Ballroom at the Sheraton last night.
The Closing Night Gala of the 17th Annual NYC Dance Alliance Foundation was an over the top, not to be missed Finale featuring America's most talented young dancers and Broadway stars - many of whom are NYCDA alumni.
Following a week of intense workshops with the country's top choreographers, teachers and Broadway performers; auditions for such Broadway shows as Billy Elliot, Memphis, Come Fly Away, Annie & Peter Pan and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and dance competitions for college scholarships, hundreds of the country's most promising young dancers the next generation of dance world stars participated in the Finale and Closing Night Gala.
Joining the next generation of dance world stars were Tony nominee Orfeh, "Legally Blonde"; Shannon Lewis, currently in "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying" , Michael-Demby Cain, "Smokey Joe's Café"; Ramona Keller, "Smokey Joe's Café"; Grammy nominee Marty Thomas of "Wicked", Adrienne Warren "Dreamgirls" and acclaimed singer/songwriter Katie Thompson.
Highlights of the gala include the show stopping Teen and Senior Opening Number; Teen and Senior Finalists performing for Critics' Choice & Outstanding Dancer Awards; Grand Prizes and Cash Scholarships; National NYCDA Teen and Senior Critics' Choice Awards announcements ; National NYCDA Teen and Senior Outstanding Dancer Scholarships presented; stunning solo and group performances and a super smooth tap number "Bojangles" by last year's multi - scholarship winner and former "Billy Elliot" star Corey Snide who will be attending Julliard this fall thanks largely to NYC Dance Alliance. There were also Guest Performances from the cast of "Memphis", Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Rasta Thomas and The Bad Boys of Dance.