The wait is over — Dazzle is back and this year five courageous area community leaders will take the stage, dazzle us with their fancy footwork and compete to win the coveted disco ball trophy. It all happens at the Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania gala, Dazzle: Mad Hot Ballroom V, Dancing Through the Decades, at the Princeton Hyatt on Saturday, April 22, from 6 to 11 p.m.

Young Audiences’ version of a “Dancing with The Stars” competition will include a hip hop dance performance by students from Wiggins Elementary School in Camden, NJ, who are participating in Young Audiences’ Adopt-a-School Initiative. The program is an innovative partnership between school districts, funders and Young Audiences that brings arts education to underserved school children.

But wait, there’s more: a chance to win a Bliss Travels Exclusive Insider’s Trip to Provence, France. This dream vacation includes lodging in a stunning medieval village in a private inn, daily gourmet breakfasts, three private sightseeing excursions with chauffeur driven car/van, guide, and translation and a wine tasting event.

The feature dance event highlights local community leaders competing on the dance floor. Each dancer is teamed up with a professional from Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Princeton. This event is not taken lightly. The competitors will take lessons for three months to prepare for their Dazzle debut and compete for votes to win the coveted YA Disco Ball Trophy.

Dance competitors include Joanne Canady-Brown (Owner, Head Baker of The Gingered Peach in Lawrenceville), Lew Gantwerk (Former Executive Director, Center for Applied Psychology at Rutgers), D.A. Graham (Vice President, Global Integrity Leader at Nielson Company), Mark Murphy (President, Lead New Jersey), and Michele Siekerka (President, New Jersey Business and Industry Association).

“I have seen first-hand, ‘at risk’ public school children transform their limited opportunities into bright futures as a result of participating in programs like Young Audiences’,” said D.A. Graham.

Michele Siekerka shared, “When I learned of the depth and breadth of Young Audiences’ programming and the passion they have for their mission, how could I possibly say no!”

Mark Murphy echoed those sentiments, “I am pleased to join with Young Audiences in their efforts to extend these vital experiences to so many in our bi-state region!”

“I want to draw more local attention to an organization supporting the arts. Being in the culinary arts field, I think it’s important to engage children and young adults in creative imaginative thinking,” said Joanne Canady-Brown.

“I am so excited about this opportunity to contribute to Young Audiences’ mission of spreading involvement in the arts to such a diversity of potential new audiences and artists,” shared Lew Gantwerk.

Founded in 1973, Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania is the premier non-profit, arts-in-education resource in the region, providing high-quality performances and artist-in-residence programs to schools in all 21 counties of New Jersey and the 7 easternmost counties of Pennsylvania. Representing all art forms, Young Audiences’ programs are accessible to all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and geographic communities.

A star-studded night of dance and excitement awaits. The arts have never been so dazzling.

Young Audiences New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania. 609-243-9000.

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