Last night's New York City Dance Alliance Foundation gala was uplifting, spirited and star studded, to say the least. Since the organization's inception two years ago, it has awarded more than $1 million in college scholarships to 100 plus dancers. It was fantastic to hear that these kids were being given the tools to take them through their next leg of training, like Utah dancer Mattie Love, who just started her freshman year at Marymount Manhattan College. Snaps to NYCDA and all its dancers and supporters!
It was equally as fantastic to witness why these kids deserve recogntion, as 19 of this year's scholarship recipients performed a number choreographed by NYCDA faculty Andy Pellick. They danced right before the pros: Complexions, Ballet Hispanico, ABT and Ballet Next. NYCB's Tiler Peck and Robert Fairchild in Christopher Wheeldon's Mercurial Manoeuvers were my favorite of the evening—I still cannot fathom Peck's artistic abilities at her age. Oh, and did I mention that the two are NYCDA alums? Who knows, the next big dance talent could be one of those scholarship winners we saw take the stage.
The evening capped off with the oh so fabulous Liza Minnelli presenting the Ambassador for the Arts award to everyone's favorite danseur—Mikhail Baryshnikov. He was funny, witty, suave—pretty much everything you'd expect him to be. And he stole my heart without even having to pirouette his way in.