VAIL - Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater audience members were shocked to discover that Tuesday night's concert offered more than just free music. To remind Vail Valley residents and visitors that the Vail Valley foundation's Vail International Dance Festival (VIDF) is just around the corner, local dance enthusiasts rehearsed for the past three weeks in secret locations throughout the Valley to bring a Flash Mob to amphitheater after the first set of last night's Hot Summer Nights concert. Choreographed in collaboration by Colin Meiring (Vail Performing Arts Academy; artistic director for the Star Dancing Gala), Meredith Steinke (Star Dancing Gala pro dancer), The Eagle Valley High School Dance Team and Battle Mountain High School Dance Team, the flash mob was also created to help spread the word about the Vail Valley Foundation's largest Youth Foundation fundraising event of the year, the Star Dancing Gala (SDG). Performed to music by MashMike - Pump Up The Party Rock (LMFAO vs. Pink vs. Kraze vs. Danzel vs. C&C Music Factory vs. Salt-N-Peppa vs. Diddy Dirty Money), the flash mob strived to show that from classical ballet to hip hop, dance has something to offer everyone, as well as reinforce the importance of providing our youth with access to enriching cultural experiences. "(The) flash mob featured a fun and interactive mix of artistic dance styles and was made accessible for dancers of all levels of ability to participate," said Meredith Steinke, choreographer and Star Dancing Gala professional. "Our goal was to get our audience engaged with and excited about dance, while helping to support the dance programs that the Youth Foundation makes available to Eagle County's youth."VVF's Vail International Dance Festival, which kicks off July 29 and ends Aug. 11, 2012, at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, offers an unparalleled collection of ballet and modern dance, rivaling the top dance festivals across the globe. This year's lineup includes the return of New York City Ballet MOVES, the Vail debut of Martha Graham Dance Company, International Evenings of Dance, Dance for $20.12 and more. Schedule at a Glance and tickets can be found at vaildance.org. VVF's Youth Foundation Star Dancing Gala takes place July 23, and will feature dance performances by notable locals and professional dancers as well as performances by local children who participate in Youth Foundation programs. Each pair will perform a different genre of dance. Similar to the popular television show, "Dancing with the Stars," these local "Stars" have accepted the challenge to train with a professional dancer and perform in front of our live audience for the benefit of children at risk. Everyone at the event will be supporting the expansion of the Youth Foundation's mission to foster the growth, development, and success of children in our community. The Star Dancing Gala will remind all of us to continue reaching for the stars."Each year the gala is a magical night as individuals from each corner of our community come together to celebrate and support our children and our future," says Susie Davis, VVF's Vice President of Education. "It is a fun, heartwarming, and inspiring event that will offer a glimpse into the dreams that the Youth Foundation is making possible for Eagle County's children."
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