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BWW Reviews: Career Transition For Dancers Celebrates 29th Anniversary With A Tribute to NYC

All of the sights, sounds, and thankfully not smells that can make you think of nothing else but New York City herself filled New York City Center within the first few seconds of Career Transition For Dancers 29th Anniversary Jubilee, NEW YORK NEW YORK a heulluva town, this past Monday, October 6, 2014.

Career Transition for Dancers is an organization that enables and encourages dancers to develop the necessary skills for success in post-performance professions. Through career counseling and program services, Career Transition for Dancers has helped thousands of dancers nationwide take the first steps in finding new and rewarding careers. Each year, the proceeds from the event go toward their mission, and the night goes on to honor those who have contributed ample time and talent to the cause. This year's annual performance was dedicated to Sono Osato and Victor Elmaleh in celebration of their 20 years of committed support, while the Rolex Dance Award of the night was presented to the witty and charming Angela Lansbury. Other guest announcers and awardees also took the stage, including but not limited to: James Earl Jones, Paula Abdul, Janice Galli Becker, Fe Saracino Fendi, and Joe Tremaine. The awards given and received throughout the night added a sense of appreciation and class to the well rounded yet centrically themed 90-minute showcase.

The philanthropic performance began with a video montage of subways, taxis, commuters, sky rises, parks and anything else 'New York,' which continued to flash between acts throughout the night. The curtain rose to an upbeat, high-spirited, and rather humorous tap number by the American Tap Dance Foundation. Over 60 dancers on stage, as well as 42nd Street's very own tin man 'hoop dancer,' represented all of New York City's walks of life, including businessmen, doctors, nuns, students, athletes, children, and of course, an accompanying Spiderman, all tapping as one.

The celebration of the Empire State was best again reflected through the Rockette Alumnae performance, with soloist singer Karen Ziemba. Presented by Ann Murphy, former Rockette and current Career Transition for Dancers member, the act undoubtedly filled the audience with nostalgia. Even with moderated kicks and some forgiven slip-ups, the all too familiar enchantment of the Rockettes came to life from Radio City Music Hall to New York City Center.

The quick piece that stole the show was the same quick piece in which Career Transition for Dancers allowed New York to slip our minds for just one moment. Guest dancer, Michael Dameski, 2014 winner of So You Think You Can Dance Australia, graced us with his talents of strength and technique in a fouette-filled aerobatic routine. You could sense the crowd's captivation to the stage with each trick and turn Michael effortlessly landed. But don't worry New Yorkers; the spotlight was right back to the city's celebration when this jubilee concluded with none other than a street styled breakdancing performance that left the audience clapping along to its trashcan-made-beat.

Each performer, announcer, director, and audience member at City Center that night were there to share the importance of the arts living on through all stages of life. Career Transition for Dancers 29th annual gala sought out to take their audience on a truly rockin' ride through such a diverse and iconic entertainment city, and they accomplished just that. It is safe to say that the 30th annual showcase will have a lot to live up to when competing with the sense of pride that was ignited by the art of dance this year in the city that never sleeps.

Photo Credit: Annie Watt

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