Shine up your dancing shoes and get ready to cheer on your favorite South Bay neighbor! Dancing With the South Bay Stars is back for its 7th annual competition!
What Is Dancing With the South Bay Stars?
Almost eight years ago the board of the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation was trying to come up with new and exciting ways to continue their mission of enriching the community through the arts – and find more creative, engaging ways to help raise funds. Executive Director Christian Wolf had the idea to try a dancing competition after hearing that other cultural arts centers had had some success with it. So they decided to give it a shot!
The first year was a huge success, thanks in part to the popularity of the TV dancing competition show Dancing With the Stars. And ever since then, DWSBS has become a staple of the foundation’s season – and a staple of their fundraising efforts.
How Are Participants Chosen?
The board for TOCA, in partnership with a committee, puts together a list of people who they think would be fun to watch and would be willing to get on stage and dance in front of a crowd. The people on the list include local “stars” of the South Bay community, movers and shakers in the local ecosystem – including business owners, city council members, and members of the fire and police departments.
What Kind of Training Do Participants Get?
Competing in DWSBS is not for the faint of heart! Just like its namesake TV reality competition, the dancers are put through a rigorous training process. Each participant is given 20 hours with a professional dancer/choreographer, along with space to rehearse. Should the participant want to practice for more than 20 hours, they are welcome to take additional dance classes or private lessons on their own. Some participants even chose to try their luck in other competitions before the DWSBS show simply to get a feel for it!
Sure, this is a friendly competition, but some participants take it very seriously.
Who Judges the Competition?
The judges of the competition change from year to year, but we find everyone from professional dancing competition judges, to celebrity or guest judges, to local choreographers. This year Patricia Kelly, wife of the late Gene Kelly, will be one of our judges.
Where Do the Professional Dancers Come From?
The professionals who help us out come from all over Southern California. We tap dance schools and groups from the South Bay and Los Angeles, and have even ventured as far as the Valley! Lately, though, we’ve been working with LA Dance Events to help us find coaches.
What Do the Winners Get?
All of our contestants are competing for charity. First and second place winners each get a sizeable donation for the charity of their choice (1st place gets $1000, and 2nd gets $750), but everyone who competes walks away with $500 for their charity.
An Interactive Fundraising Event!
This fun and interactive event helps raise money in a few different ways: Ticket sales to the actual day of the competition, and through the voting process. The public can vote for their favorite dancer, but each vote they cast costs $1.00.
The winners are chosen through the combination of two very important numbers: the judges’ score and the amount of votes they get through our voting system. The more votes a participant gets, the more likely they are to win.
Voting is open NOW, so don’t forget to head over to the voting page and vote for who you think should win this year’s Dancing With the South Bay Stars!