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๐ŸŒŸ Local Stars โ€œStep Outโ€ for the Arts ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿ•บ

Contributor: Jamie Richardson


๐Ÿ“… Saturday, November 4, 2023
๐Ÿ“ Davis Theatre, 65 Union Street South, Concord, NC 28026

When the Cabarrus Arts Council launched “Dancing for the Arts” in 2015, it was a bold idea aimed at raising funds for the arts while providing a platform for local stars to shine.

  • This unique fundraising event, often compared to the popular show “Dancing with the Stars,” pairs local stars with professional dancers, all vying for the grand prize.

Fast forward to 2023, and the event continues to dazzle audiences, promote community engagement, and support a vital cause.

In its inaugural year, the event featured seven local stars, and former Mayor Scott Padgett danced his way to victory. The goal was to raise $16,000, but the event surpassed expectations by collecting over $22,000. Beyond the financial success, the event aimed to bring the community together for a night of fun and entertainment. This winning formula caught on, and the event continued to grow in the following years.

Dancing for the arts group on stage

Former Mayor Scott Padgett holding up Dancing for the Arts prize

Jazmin Caldwell, a former participant and a Dancing for the Arts committee member, emphasized the unique appeal of the event – the audience’s reaction to the diverse personalities of the stars. The event challenges these local celebrities to step out of their comfort zones and become dancers for a few minutes. Colin Westgarth-Taylor, the co-chair of the Dancing for the Arts Committee and another former participant, humorously reflected, “For 2 ยฝ minutes, I was a dancer!”

Unfortunately, the event had to take a two-year hiatus in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it made a triumphant return in 2022, boasting 11 stars and a sold-out show. An astounding $50,046 was raised, and the Arts Grand Champions Star, Dr. Michael Robinson, set a new record by collecting $19,107.34, more than any other dancer in the event’s history.

Dr Michael Robinson holding dancing for the arts overall winner prize

Dancing for the Arts audience

One of the unique aspects of “Dancing for the Arts” is the involvement of local professionals as the celebrity dancers. The professional dancers come from the local dance community, including dance studio personnel and even a Hornets Basketball dancer. On the other side, the stars represent various corners of Cabarrus County, ranging from veterinarians to elected officials, creating a diverse and engaging group of participants.

Francene Greene dancing for the arts

woman and man dancing on stage with castle behind them

Brian Floyd, who has been the event’s emcee in previous years, will once again lead the show this year. Each pair of dancers will participate in two dances, with an intermission in between, promising an evening filled with excitement and energy.

emcee of dancing for the arts Brian Floyd

Meet the local stars who are stepping out of their comfort zones to raise money for the arts for this yearโ€™s event! They have been promoting their dances on social media in a race to raise the most funds to support the arts during this yearโ€™s fundraiser.

This year, Paula Yost, a local attorney, takes center stage as a star dancer. She shared that her motivation to participate stems from the Cabarrus Arts Council’s profound impact on the community, particularly its work with children. As a non-dancer, Paula discovered the challenges of learning a dance routine, but she found the experience rewarding.

  • โ€œAs a non-dancer, I grossly underestimated how difficult it would be to learn a two-minute dance. I have spent about twelve hours in rehearsal and only recently feel like I have it mastered.โ€

Robbie Furr, another star dancer, cited his passion for advocating for the arts and art programming in Cabarrus County drove him to take on the challenge.

  • โ€œI love a healthy competition and getting out of my comfort zone. This does both!โ€

He highlighted the balance between precision and enjoyment as the most challenging aspect of the event and says he is โ€œlooking forward to seeing everyone all dressed up, feeling the excitement of the crowd, and hopefully surpassing our goal of raising $50,000 for the Cabarrus Arts Council.โ€

dancing for the arts collage from practice photos

Photo credit: Robbie Furr Facebook

๐Ÿ—ณ๏ธ ๐Ÿ’ฐ You can VOTE ONLINE for your favorites. All donations support the programming of the Cabarrus Arts Council.

But “Dancing for the Arts” isn’t just about the show. The evening kicks off with a fantastic cocktail buffet catered by Doughgirls Catering and features a beautiful artisan ice sculpture. After the show, an epic after-party awaits, with DJ Cracker Jack spinning tunes until midnight at The Cabarrus Center, beautifully decorated by POLISHED Event Design.

cocktails at the Cabarrus Center

after party at the Cabarrus Center

As the saying goes, “Act fast, or you might miss out.” Tickets for this year’s show are in high demand, and they include access to the pre-show party and after-party. The event has a history of selling out, so don’t delay. If you can’t make it to the event, you can still support the stars and the Cabarrus Arts Council by making a donation through their individual pages.

The Cabarrus Arts Council has been an integral part of the local community, offering children’s programming, school partnerships, family events, nationally recognized art exhibits, plays, and national touring acts. “Dancing for the Arts” is not just a dance competition; it’s a celebration of the vibrant arts community in Cabarrus County and a reminder of the importance of supporting the arts for a brighter future. Join the stars, the professionals, and the community on Nov 4th, for an unforgettable night of dancing, entertainment, and community spirit.


Planning to visit? Tell ’em Cabarrus Weekly sent ya!