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The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation first annual "Bright Lights, Shining Stars" Gala
08/01/2011 - By Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU

The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation first annual "Bright Lights, Shining Stars" Gala
Photos by Annie Watt @ Society-Photos.com

Joe Lanteri and Dance Alliance Scholarship winners

The NYC Dance Alliance Foundation held its 1st Annual Bright Lights, Shining Stars Gala at the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at NYU and clearly delivered on its promise of a star studded evening of music & dance.

Following cocktails hosted by Honorary Co-Chairs Cassandra Seidenfeld Lyster and Robin Cofer, eager guests flooded into the theater for an evening of unforgettable dance.
Executive Director Joe Lanteri took to the stage to welcome the guests and talk passionately about the NYCDAF’s mission to empower promising young dancers by promoting education, while investing in the next generation of professional artists, by offering scholarships for secondary and college education. Just weeks ago at the close of its national convention, NYCDAF awarded over $2.8 million in college scholarships.
Bringing the evening around to NYCDAF’s mission, Joe Lanteri announced the seven winners of college scholarships totaling $57,500 once again reinforcing the organization’s desire to empower promising young dancers by offering funds to further their education at the institution of their choice.
A three part tribute to Roberta Flack began with Katie Thompson rendering a powerful version of “Killing Me Softly” while featured dancer Cindy Salgado swirled around the stage; Ta’Rea Campbell, Nala In The Lion King and Jersey Boys Michael Longoria paired for an updated version of the Grammy winning duet between Donny Hathaway and Miss Flack, “Where is the Love” and ending the tribute was Capathia Jenkins singing Flack’s famed “First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” while Come Fly Away’s Tony nominated Karine Plantadit and Clifton Brown formerly with Alvin Ailey performed a memorable duet capturing the moment of first love.
Roberta Flack accepted the NYCDAF’s 1st Ambassador for the Arts Award in recognition of her incredible achievements as a recording artist; her journey from talented teenager to accomplished professional which serves as a true inspiration to aspiring artists everywhere and her long time advocacy for arts education for young people.
Guests then proceed up to the Rosenthal Room for Champagne and desert reception. Sponsors for the gala evening were Capezio, Dance Magazine, Steps on Broadway and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

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