What’s up in the dance community
Dance legends and learners alike celebrated New York City Dance Alliance Foundation’s ongoing advocacy of arts education and training at the annual Bright Lights Shining Stars event held October 1 in New York City.
Established in 2010 by jazz icon and educator Joe Lanteri, the NYCDA Foundation has provided more than $22 million in scholarships to more than 200 young dancers. Present at this year’s annual fundraising event were Broadway “shining stars” Chita Rivera, Joel Grey, and Bebe Neuwirth, choreographer Patricia Birch, and Fosse co-conceiver/co-choreographer Ann Reinking, who received the 5th annual “Ambassador for the Arts” award.
“Bright lights” included 20 dancers ages 10 to 18 from Inspire School of Dance in Naperville, Illinois, who were recognized for contributing $20,000 to the Foundation’s scholarship fund. Director Anne Forrest told DSL her studio’s team dancers and parents made a huge fundraising effort for two years, organizing ice cream socials and showcases, encouraging community contributions, and even teaching private lessons for younger dancers. “I really believe this is supporting the future of dance,” Forrest said of the Foundation. “When you sit in the audience and see Joe present the scholarships—it’s magical. It changes these kids’ lives forever.”