- Written by Anmarie Galowski
Mark your calendars and order your tickets, the most anticipated dance contest of the year returns on Saturday, March 2 from 7 – 11pm at Salem Golf Club in North Salem. The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra proudly presents the 2013 Spring Gala, Dancing with The RSO.
Hips will swing and toes will tap when seven couples (Ridgefield residents paired with dance instructors from local studios) show off their dancing skills to the spectacular sounds of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, led by Gerald Steichen. According to Gina Wilson, Executive Director of the RSO, “There is a beautiful cocktail hour on the patio, a lovely seated served dinner, and a band of top musicians from this area. They are unbelievable.”
Michelle Maturo, Owner of Elevation Spin in Georgetown, exclaims, “We’re having a ball.” Maturo, who has a background in dance and gymnastics but has never done partner dancing, is teamed up with Marcel Helms of Fred Astaire Dance Studios. “We’re having a really good time with it. Our personalities are in synch, our timing, the pins, the flips, the dips.” Pins, flips and dips? “We’re doing the Cha Cha, ” she says.
Another couple who will Cha Cha is Jenny Conciatore, Zumba instructor at Ridgefield Fitness Club, and the Artistic Director of Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, Terry Duncan. “I’m delighted to be dancing with Jenny who moves for a living,” says Duncan.
Allison Stockel, Executive Director at The Ridgefield Playhouse was asked to dance for two years in a row. “The first year I had a boot on because I had just had foot surgery and the second year was my ‘redemption’ dance,” she says. “I loved the experience both times and now I actually know how to Samba and Salsa!” Stockel adds, “It’s a ton of fun to participate in, and even more fun to watch!”
As an added bonus, the party doesn’t stop when the competition is over. Wilson explains, “The band plays on after the competition.” You like to dance but your partner doesn’t? Don’t let that keep you home. “There are Fred Astaire dancers who are there to dance with you,” says Wilson.
Steven Boockvor, Denise Pense and Victoria Mallory, Broadway actors and dancers, will be doing the color commentating during the performances while local television personality and poet, Ira Joe Fisher, will emcee the event and host the live auction.
There is something for everyone in the auction with generous items up for grabs…a trip to Bermuda, one week in Cape Cod, 4 tickets to the Broadway show Chicago (limo, Sardi’s dinner, backstage tour), a one-of-a-kind handmade music box, and a party at Sarah’s Wine Bar, just to name a few. A truly priceless item, “The Golden Baton,” offers the higest bidder the chance to conduct the RSO at its Holiday Pops concert in December. “It’s huge, huge stuff,” remarks Wilson.
Want to get a jump on the voting? Yes, even before the couples hit the floor dancing, you can cast your vote via the “Vote” link at www.ridgefieldsymphony.org/vote. Proceeds will benefit the outreach and musical programs of the Orchestra, and will help in determining the winner.
So put on your best dress and join us friends and fellow community members for an unforgettable evening of cocktails, dinner, entertainment, dancing and music. Click here to purchase your ticket.
To learn more about the Ridgefield Sympony Orchestra, now in it’s 48th year, and all of the upcoming community events on their website, please go to www.ridgefieldsymphony.org
*Photo: Jenny Conciatore and Terry Ducan