Friends of Dance debuts ‘Strike a Pose’ |

Friends of Dance debuts ‘Strike a Pose’

Betty Ann Woodland
High Altitude Society
Vail, CO Colorado
Julia Kozusko, Men's Designer Luca Bruno and "Strike a Pose" Co-chair/event organizer Liz Leeds at Bol in Vail.

There was bowling for those so inclined, a talent-studded runway show on “fashion alley” and fall designs by Garbarini and Luca Bruno at Bol in the Solaris in Vail Village. All of these delightful diversions were dished up to help support Friends of the Dance and the Vail International Dance Festival. The Vail Valley Foundation teamed up with Friends of the Dance to celebrate and educate about the mission of both organizations.

Party goers learned from Suzy Hervert that Friends of the Dance was created in 1984 to ensure that dance education would be an essential presence in our community. Now, 28 years later, they stand by their mission and annually provide thousands of dollars of financial aid to students in all dance disciplines.

Friends of the Dance is a nonprofit that provides performance opportunities for more than 100 local dancers. For instance, “The Nutcracker” performance at the Vilar Center is supported by the Friends of Dance. Friends of Dance covers artistic direction and capital expenses for the community’s only ballet company. Friends of Dance also believes in exposing our local dancers to the world of dance outside of our community and funds master teachers to come from all over the country.

“We are so honored and excited to be partnered with the Friends of Dance tonight,” said Ceil Folz, Vail Valley Foundation’s president. “A year ago, a Vail magazine did an article on six kids who grew up in the Vail Valley and are now in New York or L.A. and are pursuing careers in the performing arts. In the article, each kid talks about how they got to where they are today.”

Folz recalled how each of them credited growing up in Vail as giving them a great head start.

“They were nurtured by directors and parents and then were able to watch great dancers on the stage, or listen to Bravo or go to the Vilar Center,” Folz said. “We are in an unbelievable community where kids have these opportunities.”

The “Strike a Pose” organizing committee, consisting of Senenne Philippon, Liz Leeds, Lindsay Rauch and Shawn Kirschner, did a fabulous job of creating a fresh event that infused entertainment and information into a fun-filled evening.

Gratitude and congratulations were extended to Luca Bruno for the men’s fashion, emcee Tricia Swenson, Bliss Studio, Vail Valley Pharmacy, The Steadman Clinic, Garbarini and Havashoe.

It takes the commitment of many to create and sustain organizations like Friends of the Dance and the Vail Valley Foundation. The valley is fortunate to have impassioned people in the arts to teach, support and showcase artistic and athletic endeavors.

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