On Saturday night, May 20, amidst noise-makes, placards and banners, a crowd of nearly 800 jumped to its feet in appreciation of 10 community leaders stepping out of their comfort zones in order to raise funds for Curtain Call.
Curtain Call, now it its 26th year, celebrated at the organization’s tenth annual Dancing with the Stars event and kicked off the night with a reunion dance including 18 past volunteer dancers, choreographed by one of the event’s founding dance professionals, Lou Lopez, of Latin Moves Dance Studio. The energy and excitement…not to mention the noise level from cheering …was akin to what was seen at last summer’s political conventions…but a lot more fun!
Leading the cheering as host for the event, was Stamford resident, Curtain Call alumnus, and Broadway veteran, Chris O’Neill, who recently completed four and a half years starring in The Book of Mormon. O’Neill’s quick wit and charming personality kept the show moving and helped make the dancers feel very comfortable on stage.
Timothy McGrath-Dimare (STAMFORD), a true renaissance man, along with his professional dance partner, Raid Volodina (from Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich, whipped up a dance routine worthy of the JUDGES’ CHOICE AWARD (male division), at this annual fundraiser held at the Palace Theatre, Stamford. McGrath-DiMare, among many vocations, is a cake decorator at the family business bearing his name: DiMare’s Pastry Shop.
Stamford resident, court reporter and professional singer, Sharon Jerry-Collins, and her professional dance partner, Billy Blanks, Jr., of Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom in Greenwich, bopped across the dance floor with a mixed routine with a Bollywood influence, and won the JUDGES’ CHOICE AWARD (female division).
In recognition of his outstanding fundraising efforts for the event, Darien resident and owner of Hung Wells Signs, Kevin Kane, received the PEOPLES’ CHOICE AWARD. His professional dance partner, Suzanne Vita Palazzo, Upper Deck Fitness, created a fabulous routine that they definitely were not hung on.
For this year’s event, in addition to McGrath-DiMare, Jerry-Collins and Kane, other participants included: Garry Feldman, President, US Computer Connection, with professional dance partner, Donna Fox, a Curtain Call Choreographer; Angelo Nunzio Grieco, Owner, Sunny & Frankie’s, with professional dance partner, Lauren Nicole Sherwood, Diva Star Productions; Kevin Kane, Owner, Hung Well Signs, with professional dance partner, Suzanne Vita Palazzo, Upper Deck Fitness; Harriette Ketover, with professional dance partner, Bob Blank, Latin Moves Dance Studio; Yve Novotny-Gentile, Owner, Garden of Eve Interior Design Owner, with professional dance partner, Hazael Rojas, Latin Moves Dance Studio; Charles Pia, Owner, Charles R. Pia Construction and Property Management, with professional dance partner, Becca Brendli, Independent Choreographer; Sonia Sotire Malloy, Owner, SPLURGE Unique Gifts and Home Décor, with professional dance partner, Cuong Nguyen, Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich; Robin Wexler, Special Events Manager, Gilda’s Club Westchester, with professional dance partner, Pavel Bic, Arthur Murray Grande Ballroom of Greenwich.
Judges’ Choice (Female) Sharon-Jerry Collins and her professional partner, Billy Blanks, Jr.
Judges’ Choice (male) Tim McGrath-DiMare and his professional partner, Iraida Volodina.
Peoples’ Choice Award winner, Kevin Kane, and his professional partner, Suzanne Vita Palazzo.
Broadway star (Book of Mormon) and Curtain Call alum, Chris O’Neill, was the evening’s MC.