What do you get when you put dance’s finest instructors and choreographers, leading competition directors and dance stars like Dave Scott, Maddie Ziegler, Liz Imperio and Mandy Moore on the same stage? The Industry Dance Awards!
The 2016 Industry Dance Awards and Cancer Benefit Show were held at Hollywood’s Avalon Theater on August 17. Hundreds of the industry’s best got together to rub shoulders, celebrate this year’s achievements and raise money for Dancers Against Cancer, a charitable organisation that provides financial support and inspiration to dance educators, choreographers, dancers and their families who have been impacted by cancer.
The excitement was palpable on the red carpet as the stars, award recipients and industry greats waltzed in. Bubbly Katherine Bailess of VH1’s Hit the Floor shared, “This is my third time here! I love it. I love everyone who’s involved, and I am a big believer in Dancers Against Cancer. This is really a great time. I feel like an excited 12-year-old again at dance recital!”
Matt Steffanina, who was honored with the New Media Influencer award was a newbie to the event. “This is my first time being here!” he said on the red carpet. “I’ve known about the Awards for a long time, but I haven’t been able to attend being on the road or out of town, so I’m excited to be here. It’s one of the few awards shows that really honour dancers. We don’t have a lot of that for our community. It’s great to see everyone coming together.”
Hosted by the ever-entertaining Keltie Knight and Dave Scott, the evening was part awards delegation and speeches, part performances, part cancer benefit. Awards were given to industry icons like Chita Rivira and Liz Imperio, as well as proud studio owners and choreographers, highlighted for their best pieces from the competition season. For the first time, an Australian dance studio was also highlighted. Village on Broadway was nominated for a People’s Choice Award, with Jacqui Howard in attendance, all the way from Sydney.
The evening was a mix of what’s amazing about our industry – our creativity and our compassion. Syncopated Ladies brought down the house, as well as 25 of Steffanina’s hottest young dancers and gorgeous, young cancer survivor Valory Newton, who didn’t let losing her leg stop her from dancing.
Maddie Ziegler of Dance Moms and SYTYCD was presented the 2016 Breakthrough Performer Award by her sister Mackenzie and choreographer Mandy Moore. Ziegler told Dance Informa, “I am so excited to be here, and I am so glad that the Industry Dance Awards are about raising awareness for cancer. It’s such a great cause. The Industry Dance Awards is always one of my favourites because they always put on a great show.”
The inspiring Liz Imperio, who was honoured with the Role Model Award, was passionate about supporting the event.
“It’s honestly always wonderful to come to this particular award show because it’s a nice way to give back to the dance community,” she shared. “That’s where my heart is – constantly making sure that we’re paying it forward. Whenever they ask me to do a number or be a part of the show, I’m present 100 percent!”
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and you can continue to support Dancers Against Cancer by becoming a Hope Studio. Each official Hope Studio has pledged to raise at least $1,000 in support of Dancers Against Cancer. So far, altogether, Hope Studios have raised over $100,000 for the cause! Just visit imadanceragainstcancer.org for more information.
Imperio said, “Cancer is such a heartfelt situation for so many people. If not directly you, you know others who have gone through the plight of cancer. You can’t help but wonder how you can help? How can you serve others and give back? I find that being a part of this is truly valuable and purposeful, and for every dancer who steps onto the stage and lays down their heart and lays down every dance step, it’s for a great cause. There’s nothing better than to do more than ourselves.”
Here’s the full list of 2016 Industry Dance Award Winners:
“Field Trip” from The Dancer’s EDGE
Best Jazz Performance
“Dangerous” from West Coast School of the Arts
Best Lyrical/Modern/Contemporary Performance
“Run” from Dancers Edge
Best Tap Performance
“Cop Chase” from Music General
Best Musical Theater/Novelty/Character Performance
“A Musical” from Temecula Dance Co
Best Hip-Hop Performance
“The Michael Jackson Experience” from We’re Dancin’
Best Open/Acro/Ballet Performance
“Identity” from The Winner School
Choreography Of The Year
“Sleep” from Woodbury Dance Center
Best Performance of 2016
“Born to Hand Jive” from Summit Dance Shoppe
Best Convention Performance
“Mon Dieu” from Impact Dance Studio, “Forever Young” from Beyond Words Dance Company, and “Cheers Darlin'” from Miami Dance Project
Favourite Convention Teacher
By Deborah Searle of Dance Informa.
Photo (top): Hosts Keltie Knight and Dave Scott inside at the 2016 Industry Dance Awards and Cancer Benefit Show held at the Avalon in Hollywood, CA. Photo By John Salangsang/Sipa USA.