10th annual Star Dancing Gala raises money to support programs from cradle to career (video) | VailDaily.com

10th annual Star Dancing Gala raises money to support programs from cradle to career (video)

For a decade, local notables have been getting out of their comfort zones and dancing in front of hundreds of guests at YouthPower365's annual Star Dancing Gala each summer. It's known as one of the most exciting fundraisers of the year and it raises money for the valley's youth.

The Star Dancing Gala started as an idea to showcase locals paired with professional dance instructors performing various dance routines to add a little pizzazz to the typical fundraiser. With television shows like "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance" being so popular, the Vail Valley Foundation's YouthPower365 capitalized on this entertainment sensation and it hasn't looked back.

This year's local dancers included Amanda Precourt, Doe Browning, Eric Garcia, John Dawsey, Reed Eberly, Sophia Walder, Travis Coggin and Yvette Frampton. On stage, they strutted their stuff while dancing the waltz, two-step, contemporary dance and more.

The mission at YouthPower365 is to provide year-round extended learning that inspires, educates and empowers the youth and families of Eagle County from when they are very young up to adulthood.

"The Star Dancing Gala provides support to all of our programs," said Melisa Rewold-Thuon, executive director of the Vail Valley Foundation's YouthPower365. "It fills in funding gaps in our programs to help us provide consistent services to our families from cradle to career and also allows for program expansion and piloting of new programs."

Some of the local notables featured at the Star Dancing Gala have little if any professional background in dance, but put their blood, sweat and a lot of sore muscles into this endeavor and have come out like shining stars on the stage. It's fun for people to see their friends, neighbors and co workers giving it their all for charity.

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"I think the success of Star Dancing Gala continues because it is really fun for all those involved, and it supports a great cause," Rewold-Thuon said. "We already have a line up of community celebrities that are willing to dance for us over the next two years, so the plan is to keep this event going as long as our community continues to enjoy it and support it."

To learn more about the event and how the money raised helps the kids visit http://www.youthpower365.org. To view the video with a few of the dancers prior to show time, visit http://www.vaildaily.com.