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Join us next Thursday, November 30 at UWM Union Cinema for the Milwaukee premiere of Rebels On Pointe, the first-ever, cinéma vérité documentary film celebrating Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo — the all male, drag ballet company founded over 40 years ago on the heels of New York’s Stonewall riots. Only $5, and all are welcome! ... See MoreSee Less

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My Big Fat Thank You

Posted on by Deborah Farris

Thank you THANK YOU to the many MANY individuals who have made Danceworks’ 11th Mad Hot Ballroom and Tap year a success—two semesters and two competitions! Danceworks’ Director of Community Engagement, Posy Knight, said, “We can do this!” Thank you, Posy, for your indomitable spirit, tenacity and leadership—and in the same breath—thank you to the entire Danceworks’ team: the resourceful staff and experienced board of directors, our partners and supporters who help spread the joy and make things happen. (Look closely and you might see angel wings.)

Photo: Jeff Zmania

BMO Harris Bradley Center Team

It’s fun to think back on our first Mad Hot Competition in 2007. We were a little over-awed to be having an event at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. I wouldn’t say we were intimidated—maybe a little—but mostly we were excited to meet with the Bradley Center team to coordinate the day. When they told us that we would need an extra table (for what, I don’t remember), we said, “No problem. We have one we can bring along with us.” (Why rent one?) Bradley Center assured us that they would take care of it. And they did, along with the entire competition! For eleven years and counting!

Part of the BMO dream team

We would not be here without these wonderful people, and without the many additional individuals who understand the impact of bringing the joy of dance to the students in our city. When CEO Steve Costello and the Bradley Center said yes to Danceworks, I wonder if they knew at the time the incredible role they would play in the lives of SO many Milwaukee children. (25,000… but who’s counting?)

Steve has been a great role model of kindness over the years and understands what the competition is all about: “Being a good competitor is ultimately about being a good person,” he told the students on May 20th.

BMO Harris Bradley Center President/CEO Steve Costello  Photo: Jeff Zmania

Many Supporters

Volunteers return to help out year after year. They know the drill. Some don’t even want a Mad Hot volunteer T-shirt because they have a collection (thank you, Strattec!). The media has been faithful, providing us with wide coverage. Our community’s support is evident as name after name stretches around the circumference of the Bradley Center stadium ceiling, shining like stars over the children’s heads as they dance.

Over 4,000 showed up to cheer!

And so we continue on. Our classes have grown, our budget has grown and our staff has grown. You can read more about this inspiring group—my team— in their new bios, on our new staff webpage with their sassy new photos—thanks to ɅLTVRɅ Photography. (What an awesome company to work with! I totally recommend them.) And while I’m speaking of staff, I’m really pleased to introduce our two newest full time employees—Hannah Pardee, Director of Communications and Maggie Seer, Community Engagement Coordinator. You can click here to discover something new about all of the staff!

Amazing Teaching Artists

And finally, as I’ve said so many times, but can never say enough—it’s our Mad Hot teaching artist team who bring the real magic to the program. They are the heroes. There is little turnover among them. They are in it for one reason and one alone as we all are: they love the students. They set challenges aside and put the children first. They never fail to draw out potential the students didn’t realize they had, and change lives from the inside out.

Danceworks Mad Hot teaching artists. Photo credit: the very talented Christal Wagner, who is also in the picture. 🙂

So from the bottom of my heart—THANK YOU ALL. It’s a great privilege and honor to work with you, and to be a part of enhancing Milwaukee with joy, health and creativity. Here’s to YOU!

Photo: Jeff Zmania

And thank you to the awesome Jeff Zmania, JMZ Photos, for capturing the Danceworks joy year after year.


What’s up next?!

Handel’s Bestiary: In Search of Animals in Handel’s Operas
Fri & Sat, Jun 16-17, 2017 7pm | Lynden Sculpture Garden

Please join us for an enchanting evening of music, dance and amazing beauty!

Tickets:

General – $26  | Student/Senior- $16  | Youth 10 & Under – Free

PURCHASE TICKETS



DEB FARRIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Welcome to my blog, where I'm hoping to share a little bit more about the heart and soul behind Danceworks…what makes me tick, what keeps me inspired, and where I can share some of the stories worth telling.