The National Dance Institute's Annual Gala Honors Tony-Award Winning Dancer Bebe Neuwirth

NDI's founder Jacques d'Amboise, right, and his daughter Charlotte d'Amboise, left. Bebe Neuwith, center, was honored at NDI's annual event. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for National Dance Institute

Last night the National Dance Institute, founded by Jacques d'Amboise, hosted its 42nd Annual Gala at the Zeigfeld Ballroom in New York City. The non-profit's largest fundraising event of the year raised $1.5 million, with all proceeds benefitting the organization's arts education programs.

Charlotte d'Amboise, Terrence Mann, Mandy Patinkin and Bebe Neuwirth with other guests. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for National Dance Institute

The 500 guests included actor Mandy Patinkin, his wife actress Kathryn Grody and American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston. A handful of New York City Ballet Dancers also attended including Daniel Ulbricht, Sterling Hyltin, Jared Angle, Amar Ramasar, Ask la Cour, and Teresa Reichlen.

American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for National Dance Institute

Plus former New York City Ballet Dancers Wendy Whelan and Allegra Kent, among others, were there to show support.

Allegra Kent poses on the red carpet. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for National Dance Institute

The evening included a live auction, special performances by the children of NDI and an awards presentation honoring Tony Award-winning dancer, singer, and actress Bebe Neuwirth for her support of arts education.

After accepting her award, Neuwirth shared a touching story about the first time she ran into Jacques d'Amboise at The Juilliard School where she was a student:

"I overheard a part of his conversation as he walked past me. He said something about the kids. I didn't know which kids he was referring to, but this was 1976, so this could have been the first group of NDI kids. So, 42 years later, I'm so deeply moved and grateful to have been recognized and called to this stage. Thank you Mr. d'Amboise for your concern all these years, and for continuing to take care of the kids. For providing them the opportunity to hear the music and dance together, opening their hearts, their minds, and their souls, in the joyous way that can only happen through dance."

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