Local celebrities dance, raise $37,000 for Missouri Contemporary Ballet

Sunday, June 3, 2007 | 2:56 a.m. CDT; updated 6:23 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

Ten local celebrities, paired with professional dancers from Columbia’s Twilight Dance Studios, showcased their talents Thursday night at “Dancing with Missouri Stars.” The benefit raised $37,00 for the not-for-profit Missouri Contemporary Ballet.

“The energy and the audience’s enjoyment exceeded my expectations,” said Karen Grundy, the ballet company’s art director, who produced the dance competition. “The community involvement and local celebrities made it better than I imagined.”

The evening began with 10 mid-Missouri celebrities and their partners dancing the tango and cha-cha for judges and more than 650 fans at the Hearnes Center. Six contestants continued on to the second round.

Lori Anne Gaddy of Downtown Alterations won first place, followed by Bill Sheals, co-owner of Murry’s and third place went to Norm Ruebling, co-owner and president of MO-X.

Audience members donated $1 for every vote they cast in the final round.

The Missouri Contemporary Ballet will likely host the event again next year, Grundy said.

“People are already signing up to compete,” she said.

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