Something to Dance About: NYC Dance Alliance Bestows $2.8 Million in Scholarships

News   Something to Dance About: NYC Dance Alliance Bestows $2.8 Million in Scholarships The future of dance got a leg up at the July 7 closing night of the annual convention of the NYC Dance Alliance Foundation in Manhattan. Scholarships totaling $2.8 million were awarded to promising young dancers.

Joe Lanteri (center) with NYCDA National Teen Outstanding Dancers Madi Hicks and Ivan Kalinin
Joe Lanteri (center) with NYCDA National Teen Outstanding Dancers Madi Hicks and Ivan Kalinin Photo by ProPix

The foundation's executive director Joe Lanteri had previously vowed to double the $500,000 given last year and top $1 million at the convention, which ended with the gala night in Manhattan.

In making the announcements of the recipients, Lanteri called the evening "a life-changing night for all."

The gala evening began with an opening number featuring Broadway stars and hundreds of young dancers from across the country, Canada and Costa Rica.

Parents and recipients cheered and wept when the announcements were read. NYC Dance Alliance Foundation, a 17-year-old organization, has a mission of "empowering the next generation of professional dancers by advocating education and offering scholarships for secondary and college training."

The 17th Annual Closing Night Gala followed a week of workshops with choreographers, teachers and Broadway performers. It included auditions for such Broadway shows and tours as Billy Elliot, Memphis, Come Fly Away, Annie and Peter Pan, plus the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. There were also the dance competitions for college scholarships. Among performers who joined the next generation of dance stars were Tony nominee Orfeh, of Legally Blonde; Shannon Lewis, currently in How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying; Michael-Demby Cain, of Smokey Joe's Café; Ramona Keller, of Smokey Joe's Café; Grammy nominee Marty Thomas, of Wicked; Adrienne Warren, of Dreamgirls; and singer-songwriter Katie Thompson.

The gala included the Teen and Senior Opening Number; Teen and Senior Finalists performing for Critics' Choice & Outstanding Dancer Awards; Grand Prizes and Cash Scholarships; National NYCDA Teen and Senior Critics' Choice Awards announcements; National NYCDA Teen and Senior Outstanding Dancer Scholarship presentation; solo and group performances; and a tap number, "Bojangles," by last year's multi-scholarship winner and former Billy Elliot performer Corey Snide, who will be attending Juilliard this fall thanks in part to NYC Dance Alliance.

Also on stage were guest performances from the cast of Memphis, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Rasta Thomas and The Bad Boys of Dance.

Get more information about NYC Dance Alliance

Shannon Lewis, Michael Demby-Cain, Ramona Keller, Joe Lanteri, Adrienne Warren, Katie Thompson and Marty Thomas
Shannon Lewis, Michael Demby-Cain, Ramona Keller, Joe Lanteri, Adrienne Warren, Katie Thompson and Marty Thomas Photo by ProPix
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