Just before the last dance of a Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s February concert, Gary Harris took the stage to make a unique announcement.
“The company was looking for a fund raising opportunity – and people like the idea of coming onstage with DCDC to feel the magic,” said Harris, company manager/rehearsal coach.
Names of five individuals and one dance company were drawn. They all won a spot on the June 8 Urban Impulse show roster.
Two of the winners are members of South Dayton Dance Theatre in Centerville.
“I’ve always wanted to dance with DCDC, and was really excited when they called my name,” said 18-year-old Centerville senior Christina Perry. “I’m excited, but pretty nervous, because they’re at a professional level – some are even my teachers – and I want to be up to their standard when we’re on stage together.”
Maddie Welsh, also a member of South Dayton’s company, entered twice. “It sounded cool because I want to dance with DCDC,” said the 16-year-old Springboro High School student. “I’m really excited – it’s awesome that I’ll be able to perform with them.”
Emily Stamas, 35, is an adult winner, who has danced in various forms, including with the Greek Festival Ellas Dancers. She’s also taken up belly and ballroom dancing.
“I saw the raffle on DCDC’s website, and it was such a unique opportunity to be on stage with incredible dancers, I had to try,” said Stamas.
Other individual winners were 12-year-old Taylor Young, a student at Stivers School of the Arts and Jeraldyne School of Dance, and Zachary Scott Jr., a former member of DCDC.
“I left the company five years ago, and entered to support the raffle, but never expected to win,” said Scott, 32. “It’ll be fun to go back, but I know Gary will really work me hard.”
Harris said DCDC will work on making the experience special.
“We’ll incorporate the dancers in a work created just for this project,” said Harris. “All the winners will be given movement to their level.”
The dance company winner was the Chenaulte Dancers of Trotwood. Owner/director Wyonna Chenault was “shocked and surprised” when her group’s name was called.
“I went to their concerts as a MUSE Machine member when I was young, and still go as an adult – and encourage my students to go,” she said.
Her dancers will perform a 10-minutes work. “I’ll use our senior team, which includes 8th-through-12th graders, and I’ll invite three of last year’s graduates to participate,” she said. “The girls are ecstatic, and so am I, but I can’t freak out yet because we’re just starting two months of competitions.”
The raffle raised almost $800 for DCDC.