By Sara Celi
April 18, 2012
Allison Kropp and Amy Rubenstein (photo via Cincinnati Snapped)
Who needs a TV show with C-list celebrities dancing their way to a mirrorball trophy, when, once a year, we have equally as good entertainment right here featuring the A-listers of the Queen City?
Dancing for the Stars, in its sixth year, is a fundraiser for the Overture Awards. That’s a scholarship program from the Cincinnati Arts Association that hands out six different $2,500 scholarships to students in multiple arts disciplines. Scholarships worth $500 dollars are awarded to 18 other finalists.
Competition for these scholarships is tough business, so it’s only natural that the scholarship’s major fundraiser should be tough business too.
One night only, eight local celebrities invite their friends and supporters to a “dance off” of sorts. They each showcase their rhythmic skills with a ballroom dance partner and get a grade by four judges. Cocktails, a silent auction, and small bites, of course, round out the night.
The 2012 sold out event pitted Candace Klein, Peter Hiltz, Regina Russo, Moe Rouse, James Craig, Dr. Michael Ledbetter, Janeen Coyle, and Joe Rigotti against each other for this night of fun. The group ran the spectrum: a distinguished attorney, several public personalities, a top financial planner, a charity grande dame, a beloved plastic surgeon and the chief of the Cincinnati Police.
They all performed in front of a panel of judges including the likes of 98 degrees boy band member and DWTS Season 2 winner, Drew Lachey.
Indeed, it was a recipe for a cha cha to remember.
Some of the dances took their training quite seriously and emerged as clear naturals. Others decided to simply play up their personalities for entertainment. Not a single performance failed to get the attention of the raucous crowd.
And at the end of the night, Regina Russo, Communications Director at the Cincinnati Art Museum, ruled the day. She beat out Dr. Ledbetter and Moe Rouse for the top of the dancing heap. Hats off. While she may not have won the famed Mirrorball trophy, I’d say the pride of being Cincinnati’s brightest dancing star was prize enough.