Star Dancing Gala dancers dazzle crowd
From foxtrot to tango, amateur dancers take the stage for YouthPower365
In case you missed the biggest fundraiser in Eagle County last Tuesday, here’s a recap of what went down when eight locals took to the stage to dance their hearts out for charity. The Star Dancing Gala, now in its 11th year, pairs local notables with professional dancers to create an evening of fun and fundraising for YouthPower365, which provides year-round extended learning from cradle to career for youth in Eagle County.
Dermatologist Dr. Jean Urquhart kicked off the show dancing the cha-cha with professional partner and artistic director of the Star Dancing Gala, Colin Meiring. Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face” provided the beat and Urquhart not only sizzled on the dance floor with her moves, her bright red gown was also stunning.
The next celebrity dancer was Patrick Scanlan who grew up in the valley and now works at Fortius Capital. He looked the part of Maverick in “Top Gun” complete with the jeans, t-shirt, boots and aviator shades. Scanlan and professional dance partner Danielle Barry did the Rhumba to a medley of songs from the “Top Gun” soundtrack such as “Danger Zone”, “Playing with the Boys” (you know, from the volleyball scene) and “Take My Breath Away”. Jumps, lifts and high-fives punctuated the performance.
In her daily life, Liz Logan Sterett helps empower women to find their true selves and her performance mimicked that sentiment. Instead of doing a partner dance, professional dancer, Mogan Kulus and Sterett, who was dressed in sporty white athletic wear with stripes, lead a group of girls and did a freestyle dance to “Salute” by Little Mix.
Dr. Charlie Meynier and professional dance partner Amy Wentworth played up the fact that Meynier is a veterinarian and danced to “Everybody Wants to Be a Cat” from the animated Disney film, “The Aristocats”. Wentworth looked cute in her catsuit complete with kitty ears and a tail and Meynier wore a purple jacket with coattails. The animal theme continued as they performed a “fox”trot-style dance.
Interior designer Victoria Jones showed her style while dancing with pro dancer Harry Jaffe to “Nevermind”. Jones looked loose and relaxed as she performed hip hop moves and even pulled off some more advanced breakdancing moves.
The new executive director of Eagle Valley Behavioral Health and fitness and wellness company founder, Chris Lindley, showed off his muscle and a little country charm while doing a western dance to Thomas Rhett’s country hit, “Look What God Gave Her”. Lindley easily performed the stunts fit for a co-ed college cheer team squad with professional dancer, Maria Barry.
Former pro snowboarder and current pro yogi, Rachel Nelson showed her prowess and strength in the highly demanding paso doble dance. Dressed in tiger print, Nelson and professional dance partner Tim Merz did a rigorous routine to the song, “Eye of the Tiger” by 2Cellos.
In the final performance, it was hard to tell who was the professional dancer and who was the celebrity dancer. Mike Testwuide, who grew up in Vail but now plays professional hockey in South Korea, danced with pro dancer Danielle Barry. Fancy footwork was accompanied by lots of lifts as they moved to an EDM song, “Dangerous” by David Guetta while doing the difficult tango dance.
The celebrity dancers made it look easy, but their hard work, time, dedication and commitment to YouthPower365 is what powers existing programs and makes creating new programs to serve youth possible.
The event draws over 600 guests each year and is so large it must be hosted in an airplane hanger at the Vail Valley Jet Center. It truly is an entertaining event that you won’t want to miss, so put it on your calendar for next year. It’s a great way to have fun watching your friends and neighbors pour their heart and soul into dancing while giving back. For more information, visit http://www.youthpower365.org/star-dancing-gala/. Watch today’s video to gain more insights on how the dancers felt prior to going up on stage.
See something new at the 16th annual Vail Film Festival, screening over 40 films Thursday to Sunday.