Event Founder Beverly Matheney, Silent Auction Co-Chair Anita Demps, Charles Gaspard and Silent Auction Co-Chair Allison Kupperman


By supporting Young Audiences Louisiana’s mission of inspiring, empowering and connecting children and communities through education, arts and culture, the eighth annual “Dancing for the Arts” impacted the lives of over 60,000 children throughout southeast Louisiana.

The event featured dance competition performances, which took place in the round, and tables of guests radiated out from the dancefloor. Centerpieces were created by aspiring artists led by Young Audiences’ teaching artist Todd Shaffer during a holiday arts workshop. A mural was created by students at Young Audiences Charter School for guests’ pictures.

Dance competition judges included Tamika Jett, dancer, choreographer and cast member of “Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce”; Dennis Lomonaco, CEO of Story Block Media; Kenny Lopez, WGNO-TV Reporter; and Beverly Matheney, Event Founder. Inspired by ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” awards were presented to participating dancers. People’s Choice and Sizzling Swagger were awarded to Christine Guillory, Judges’ Choice and Most Mesmerizing Movement were presented to Punkin Habet, Superior Sophistication to Dr. Jane Miller, Technical Excellence to Ben Sherman, Showstopper to Carl Mack and Smooth Operator to Tai Teamer.

Black Pearl Catering Company provided hors d’oeuvres and a full dinner for over 250 guests.

In addition to the dance competition, the event opened with a rousing performance by Young Audiences Charter School’s jazz ensemble featuring talented students in grades 3-7. The band played during intermission followed by the beautiful West Jefferson High School dance ensemble that presented a combination of the Haitian Dance “Yanvalou” and the Cuban Dance “Palo.”

The silent auction chaired by Anita Demps and Allison Kupperman featured an array of 36 fabulous items, including six Delta Airlines tickets, a citrine and white diamond ring set in gold, a signed Drew Brees football, an autographed Pelicans jersey and ball and a variety of exclusive hotel and restaurant experiences. A champagne-skirted model made a special appearance.

All proceeds from the gala fund Young Audiences’ afterschool and summer arts education programs.


Event at a Glance

What: Eighth annual “Dancing for the Arts,” benefiting Young Audiences of Louisiana, Inc.
When: Friday, December 1, 2017
Where: The Civic Theatre