Vail Today: Locals dance to help YouthPower365 (video) | VailDaily.com

Vail Today: Locals dance to help YouthPower365 (video)

By Tricia Swenson | Vail Today

As we enjoy the Vail Dance Festival, which features the top pros from the ballet, modern, street and tap dance world, let's reflect on the Star Dancing Gala, where locals strut their stuff on stage for charity.

Many of the dance professionals who perform at the two-week festival have been dancing since they were very young and this is their only profession. 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.

The Star Dancing Gala started as an idea to showcase locals paired with professional dance instructors performing various dance routines to add a little pop 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 Star Dancing Gala was the best yet, not only in terms of the great performances from our kids and our dancers, but we also think this is the biggest fundraising day in valley history with more than $1.3 million raised for the youth of Eagle County," said Melisa Rewold-Thuon, executive director of the Vail Valley Foundation's YouthPower365. "There's still a lot of work to do, but this funding is a great start for us to be able to continue toward our goal of providing education enrichment programming for every child, every day in Eagle County."

To learn more about the event and how the money raised helps the kids visit http://www.youthpower365.org.