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Dancing Classrooms hosts Mad Hot Ball Gala 2020

Dancing Classrooms hosts Mad Hot Ball Gala 2020


Dancing Classrooms


The comfort of your own home


Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 6:30pm



Dancing Classrooms

Join Us to Celebrate the Future of Social Dancing




  • The 2020 Mad Hot Ball will be hosted by Emmy and Tony Award-winning Dancing/Singer/Actor, Bebe Neuwirth
  • The Virtual Mad Hot Ball is FREE and open to all current and new friends of Dancing Classrooms 
  • Make a donation of at least $500 to receive an exclusive invitation to join the VIP Cocktails with Bebe Neuwirth, which will feature a mixologist and exclusive performance
  • Virtual Mad Hot Ball Honorees include Zikomo Barr, Jill Sternheimer, and the New York Junior League 
  • Guests can dance the night away during the Living Room Dance Party led by Dancing Classrooms’ Teaching Artists and students 


NEW YORK, Aug. 14 – Kick up your shoes and join Dancing Classrooms for a night of dance and celebration! The annual Mad Hot Ball Benefit Gala is going virtual for the first-time, making its big debut on Sept. 23, 2020. This year’s gala is an affair that’s not to be missed. The Virtual Gala, which starts at 7 pm EST, is open to the public and is Dancing Classrooms’ largest, annual fundraising event. 

The mission of Dancing Classrooms is to cultivate essential life skills in youth through the practice of social dance. Throughout its history, this non-profit has shown its commitment to justice, equality and inclusion by engaging more than 600,0000 children worldwide, many from underserved communities. Dancing Classrooms programs are taught with a progressive-minded, inclusive approach that embraces every student’s identity and builds on their abilities. “Our 2020 Mad Hot Ball will be a galvanizing and multi-generational event, bringing together Dancing Classrooms’ alumni, current students, longtime supporters and Illuminati of the ballroom world to advocate for a more inclusive, creative, holistic, and relevant education that includes dance for every child,” says Nancy Kleaver, Dancing Classrooms Executive Director.

The annual benefit gala will celebrate the launch of Stepping into the Future – a campaign to ensure young people across the NYC region continue to experience joy, connection and the social-emotional benefits of social dance. This year, the Virtual Mad Hot Ball will be hosted by Emmy and Tony Award - winning Dancer/Singer/Actor, Bebe Neuwirth, known for her portrayal of Lilith Crane on the TV sitcom “Cheers” and its spin-off “Frasier” and Velma in the original revival cast of “Chicago” on Broadway. There will be an auction, conducted by Karen Sorbo, and throughout the evening the Virtual Mad Hot Ball Benefit Gala will be welcoming the start of a new decade by honoring:

  • Alumni Award: Zikomo Barr (Coordinator for Leadership Initiatives, Pace University)
  • Social and Emotional Learning Champion: New York Junior League. Dayna Cassidy, President, will accept on behalf of the organization.
  • Champion for Social Dance: Jill Sternheimer (Former Director of Public Programs, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts)

Guests will also enjoy dances that showcase different types of genres from salsa and swing to tango and the waltz. The festivities will conclude with a Living Room Dance Party, kicked off by a collective lesson in The Step of the Future, featuring Dancing Classrooms Teaching Artists and students.

“Dancing is one of the most expressive ways we celebrate and communicate our cultures and communities. We strive to inspire children to not only be proud, but to also respect themselves and others. At Dancing Classrooms, it’s our responsibility to reach children in existing classroom settings and address fundamental issues of mutual respect and self-esteem that social dance puts into practice. A donation of any amount will truly have a direct and powerful effect on the lives of students during these unprecedented times,” says Board Chair, Carrie Shea Steinmetz. 

The leadership support from the organization’s Board and its closest supporters have helped Dancing Classrooms to be 60% away from its original Mad Hot Ball goal of raising $300,000. Donors who make a contribution of at least $500 will receive an exclusive invitation to the VIP Cocktails with Bebe Neuwirth, a special mixology demonstration to stir up a Mad Hot cocktail, an exclusive ballroom performance that’s a tribute to the resilience of the Dancing Classrooms’ students, and a final toast to the future starting at 6:30pm EST.

Support of any amount goes directly to supporting Dancing Classrooms programs and individuals may donate and/or RSVP using the link here


About Dancing Classrooms Stepping into the Future Campaign

School closures caused by COVID-19 forced an abrupt change to Dancing Classrooms’ award-winning in-school residencies. However, Dancing Classrooms knows how important it is to be able to turn on a dime. The Homeroom Edition was launched; a flexible online-only residency program adapted to accommodate remote learning. The Dancing Classrooms Weekend Academy and Youth Dance Company also transitioned online for 12 weekends of advanced instruction and online “Summer Intensives” kept the most enthusiastic social dancers on their toes in July. To date, approximately 1,000 young people have received Dancing Classroom’s world-renowned teaching from the safety of their own homes, in addition to the more than 12,000 students served this fall and winter. Dancing Classrooms’ 17 affiliate sites across the globe have also been trained in the Homeroom Edition model and will make instruction available to thousands more young people in their regions -- from Texas to Seattle to Jordan. The organization is eager to partner with more communities to expand access and deepen our commitment to social dance as a way to unleash personal growth and joy. 

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