Guest writer: Lori Lang, PR intern
The hit television show Dancing with the Stars may last all season, but Houston Ballet’s latest fundraiser Dancing with the Houston Stars, featuring local celebs partnered with veteran dancers of Houston Ballet, was a one-night-only, very exclusive engagement. Much like the TV show, there were contestants in sequined costumes performing complicated dance routines before a panel of judges. The similarities ended there.
On Friday, September 24, more than 170 guests gathered around the indoor pool at the home of John and Becca Cason Thrash to enjoy top-notch dancing by some of Houston’s most notable names, with food and drinks provided by the best hot spots in town.
Showcasing their dancing skills were Monsour Taghdisi, partnered with Dawn Scannell in a tango; Phoebe Tudor and Phillip Broomhead in a mambo; Diane Lokey Farb and Damian Schwiethale in a disco; Lynn Wyatt and Oliver Halkowich in a cha cha; and Pat Burk and Kristine Richmond in a meringue. It’s no surprise the dances included lifts, spins, and some very intricate footwork. The partners had been spotted frequently at the Houston Ballet Academy studios getting ready for their big debut in the months leading up to the event.
In the end, attendees cast their votes, naming Phoebe Tudor and Phillip Broomhead the winners.
In between performances, guests were treated to dinner catered by Monarch at Hotel ZaZa, RDG + Bar Annie, Eddie V’s, and Sprinkles Cupcakes, to name a few. Dom Perignon champagne (limited Andy Warhol edition), Belvedere vodka, and wine selections from The Tasting Room also flowed freely throughout the evening.
The sensational event raised $230,000 for Houston Ballet. Rumor has it that requests for a repeat performance next year make it fairly certain that the 1st Annual Dancing with the Houston Stars is only the beginning.