By NANCY QUATRANO,
Saturday, July 8 at 7 p.m., curtains of the Flagler College Lewis Auditorium rose and DANCING STARS OF ST JOHNS COUNTY took the stage. The audience was entertained by local celebrities and professional dancers that was part professional competition, part dance show and 100 percent for the benefit of underserved members of the community of St. Johns County. Following the presentation of color by the Coquina Crossing Color Guard, emcees Nicole Stewart and David “Davey” Hartzel opened the show.
Congratulations go to Rachel Danielson, winner of The Judge’s Choice “DANCING STAR AWARD”, and congratulations to Melanie Hardin, winner of “THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD ” for raising the largest amount in donations. The Dancing Star Award was decided by the votes of the judges and the audience.
The collaborative event between St. Augustine Community School of Performing Arts, Inc (SACSPA) and Arthur Murray Dance Studio of St Augustine and Arthur Murray Dance Studio of South Jacksonville, is the signature fundraiser for SACSPA, which has served hundreds of community members including St. Augustine Youth Services, The Players Championship Unit of St. Augustine Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida, St. Johns Recreation and Parks Department, and the Coquina Crossing Chorale.
This year’s local fundraising celebrity dancers were Sylvia Cerri-Bartels, Rachel Danielson, Nickie Gorce, Amaani Grant, Melanie Hardin, Brittany Jones, and Megan McCloud. Each Celebrity was paired with a dancer from the Arthur Murray centers, for instruction and choreography of their performance. Professional photographer and SACSPA Vice-president, Wayne Fusco, captured photos that are displayed on the event site at DancingStarsofSJC.com and his website:http://photos.wfpics.org/Special-Events/Dancing-Stars-7-8-17/
Dancers raised funds by asking individuals and local businesses to support them through sponsorship and sale of tickets. The generosity of the sponsors, audience, local donors, judges, Flagler College, and the dancers is greatly appreciated by the St. Augustine School of Performing Arts for their 2017 programs which include free outreach programs such as the Coquina Crossing Chorale, St. Augustine Youth Services and the Boys and Girls Club.
Exposure to, and the study of, the various arts, including learning to play an instrument, singing, learning to read and write music, drawing, painting and writing has been proven to benefit children in their learning experiences in school, and in their behavioral and relational skills as well. And, it is also a key component for healthy aging, too. That’s why the school’s mission is “to find and nurture the spirit of creativity and talent that lies within every person.” The school is completely funded by donations and is a 501 (c) (3) organization that teaches adults as well as children.
Proceeds benefit the educational programs, scholarships for musical instruction, and the community based programs offered by the St. Augustine Community School of the Performing Arts, Inc (SACSPA) which is now offering classes in their new location at 3149 N Ponce de Leon Blvd., Ste 9, St. Augustine, FL 32084. Call 904-824-0664 for more information.