CHICAGO — Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC) hosts their 7th Annual “Dancing with the Giordano Stars” competition benefit, patterned after the hit ABC series “Dancing with the Stars,” at the Park West, 322 W. Armitage Ave., Thursday, Sept 27 from 6-10 p.m.
GDC Executive Director Michael McStraw will emcee this popular fundraiser which partners men and women from Chicago’s business and social scene with professional GDC dancers in an entertaining, no-holds-barred dance competition to benefit GDC and its outreach programs.
The evening will begin at 6 p.m. with spirits and light fare, followed by the competition from 7 – 8 p.m. During the competition, there will be a special guest performance by 2007 “Dancing with the Giordano Stars” winner Gorman Cook with GDC’s Katie Rafferty before the awards are presented to the Best Male and Best Female contestant.
Open dancing for all completes the evening. Tickets are $100-$200, plus a special rate of $50 for young professionals (age 21-30). To order tickets or for more information visit giordanodance.org or call the Giordano Dance Chicago office at 312-922-1332.
“The contestants see this event as a fun and unique way to help support GDC and our programs, but it requires an impressive commitment of time and effort to train and prepare,” says Nan Giordano, GDC Artistic Director. “Each contestant must dare to step out of their comfort zone, but the feeling of personal achievement they take away makes the whole experience hugely rewarding for them and their GDC Star partners.”
Stars competing this year include Chicago’s Randall Dunn, Head of School, Latin School of Chicago; Chicago’s Cassandra J. Francis, Principal, Kariatid, LLC; Chicago’s Clint Francis, Professor, Northwestern University School of Law; the South Loop’s own Lakeisha Holmes, Sr. Marketing & Sales Manager, AMB Parking Services; Oak Park’s Jimmy Korshak, Personal Shopper; Glenview’s Lynn Orlebeke, Director of New Business Development, Gerson Lehrman Group; Palos Park’s Joe
Neverauskas, Senior VP, BPG Properties; Highland Park’s Abbe Sparks, President
and Founder, Abbe Sparks Media Relations, LLC; Naperville’s Rick Tucker, VP Sales & Marketing, Doculabs; and Chicago’s Sally L. Venverloh, Senior Vice President and Wealth Strategist, U.S Trust.
The Stars were selected earlier this summer and have been training for the past several months with dance professionals Devin Buchanan, Joshua Blake Carter, Lindsey Leduc, Zachary Heller, Lindsey LaFountain, Maeghan McHale, Ashley Rockwood, Sean Rozanski, Meredith Schultz and Martin Ortiz Tapia.
As part of the competition, each couple will compete in a compulsory Foxtrot dance and then perform a dance of their choice such as Cha Cha, Disco, Jive, Rumba, Salsa, or Tango. A panel of judges will critique dancers on style, execution and audience engagement and select the top male and female winners.
The 7th Annual “Dancing with the Giordano Stars” competition benefit is a precursor to GDC’s Fall Engagement at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, 205 E. Randolph Dr., Chicago, Oct. 26 & 27 at 8 p.m. The program will feature world premieres by choreographer Christopher Huggins, creator of GDC’s popular “Pyrokinesis” and by GDC Artistic Associate Autumn Eckman, plus selections from the company’s exciting repertoire. For tickets call 312-334-7777 or visit harristheaterchicago.org.
Giordano Dance Chicago celebrates its 50th Anniversary during its 2012-2013 season. Currently under the leadership of Artistic Director Nan Giordano and Executive Director Michael McStraw, GDC is a world-class dance company and a driving force in Chicago’s thriving performing arts community. The company’s new works continually expand the boundaries of jazz and contemporary dance. The company also has an active outreach and education program in three Chicago Public Schools, teaching more than 300 classes a year. For more information call 312-922-1332 or visit giordanodance.org.
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For tickets, to sponsor a contestant or more information: http://giordanodance.org/dancingwiththestars2012.html