Let’s dance: Benefit event returns for second year | TheUnion.com

Let’s dance: Benefit event returns for second year

The second annual Dancing With Our Stars Saturday will feature 11 pairs of local celebrities and professional dancers competiting to benefit the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley.
Submitted photo |

The wait is over, Nevada County’s own version of reality TV, live on stage returns Saturday when 11 local celebrities paired with 11 dance professionals perform in Dancing With Our Stars. The second annual fundraiser for the Center for the Arts will begin at 8 p.m. at the Grass Valley Veterans Building.

Based on the popular TV show, now in its 20th season, the Center for the Arts has created a Nevada County version – Gangnam Style, West Coast Swing, Tango, Salsa – whatever their favorite dance style may be – 11 regional celebrities have accepted the challenge to train with a professional dancer and compete in front of a live audience and a distinguished panel of judges for the Dancing With Our Stars champion title.

The couples have worked tireless during the last four months to perfect their choreography, costumes, hair, make-up and dance moves to thrill audiences and raise money to support one of the most vibrant arts organizations in the county, according to the Center.

This year’s celebrities represent a wide spectrum of the Nevada County Community:

Julia Amaral manages real estate properties, gardens, travels to seldom visited countries and supports many nonprofits throughout Nevada County. Her pro partner Jimmy McCammon is general manager and co-founder of Synthetic Unlimited.

Dr. Thomas Boyle, Chief of the Department of Surgery at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, will accompany his pro Natina Pistone, from Earth Rhythms & Drum Troupe.

Barry Friedman, one half of the popular vaudevillian troupe the Raspyni Brothers partners with Marni Marshall, co-founder of The Movement Alliance and AirAligned Dancers, and House manager at the Center.

Sarah Gordon, teaches locally and is the Head Fairy Godmother of the Cinderella project. Pro dancer Logan Hayes the youngest of our dance professionals is a student of several of the pro dancers in the competition.

John Hendrickson, an instructor at Fit Culture Studio in Nevada City. His pro partner Cassie Flores McAllister teaches at the Center Stage Dance Studio in Grass Valley.

Howard Levine has many titles including artist, instructor, business owner and Grass Valley City Council member. His partner Kate Haight is a teacher at Nevada City School of the Arts and local actor and singer.

Michelle Marguiles runs bookkeeping business, Accountability, and is co-owner of Matteo’s Public in Nevada City with her husband Matt. Pro partner Phillip Storey has been dancing for several years at Sierra Salsa.

Michelle Litton Ogaidi is a native to Nevada City and a teacher at Forest Charter School. Her pro partner Jeremy AcMoody, hails from the Sierra Dance Institute.

John Paul, Principal of Spiral Studios Inc., takes the stage in memory of his late husband and dance partner of 21 years, Chip Carmen. His pro partner Nick Katzman is from Center Stage Dance Studio.

Jennifer Porter is one of South Pine Café’s finest waitresses and also owner of Brooke’s Books and services. Her pro partner Lucy Galbraith, is the owner of Salsa Sierra.

Sabine Ostrofe is a former go-go dancer and lead singer of a family band called the Duck’s. She owns Ostrofe Financial Consultants. Her pro partner Russ Bravard is the owner of Jitterbugs, Inc.

Returning this year are judges Lorraine Gervais, Nevada City based singer, producer and Community Music Jam program coordinator; Comedian and actor Steve Hytner, and Tresa Honaker, founder and director of Air Aligned Dance Company.

The evening’s festivities will be hosted by Dr. Brian Evans, Chief Medical Officer at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital and last year’s Dancing With our Stars Champion, and Julie Baker, Executive Director of the Center for the Arts.

Each couple has raised a minimum of $2,000 for the Center for the Arts.

Audience members can vote with their dollars and the dancers with the highest number of “votes” will win the Audience Choice Award. Each dollar counts as a vote so organizer’s encourage ballot stuffing. Those not attending, can still support their favorite couple online at: http://www.razoo.com/team/2nd-Annual-Dancing-With-Our-Stars.

The Center will host an After-Party at the Off Center Stage, behind The Center for the Arts. Ticket Holders, Dancers, and Volunteers are invited to attend for drinks, dancing and mingling with dancers and guests after the main event. DJ ScaryGroover aka Michael Padilla will keep the groove going spinning all vinyl tunes. The Off Center Stage is located behind the Center at 315 Richardson St, in Grass Valley.

Tickets to Saturday’s event are still available at the Center’s box office, online or by phone at 530-274-8384.

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