Dancing Stars of Greenwich, one of the most anticipated events of the year, is sold-out, but there is still time to VOTE for your favorite dancer(s)!! The fifth annual Dancing Stars of Greenwich charity dance-off, hosted by The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Greenwich, benefits Abilis, the nonprofit that supports more than 800 individuals with disabilities in Fairfield County and their families.Voting for the stars by way of donating is a way to cheer and applaud for the dancers, and also support Abilis. Funds raised at the event go toward supporting the acquisition and renovation of new program space for Abilis. The dancer(s) that raise the most money for Abilis will be awarded the “People’s Choice” award! To vote, visit greenwichdancingstars.com.
This year’s star-studded dance-off features celebrity judges including Brendan Fraser, a celebrated and award-winning actor fresh off winning an Academy Award for Best Actor for his film The Whale; Meg Tolin Piper, a Broadway actress and dancer; Eric “Champagne” Shoji, a DJ and song producer and international DJ/emcee; and Ali Wentworth, actress, comedian, producer, host of her podcast Go Ask Ali and New York Times bestselling author, who will be the event’s MC - or Mistress of Ceremonies.
“We are so excited for this year’s Dancing Stars of Greenwich event,” said Amy Montimurro, CEO and president of Abilis. “Dancing Stars is truly one of our favorite events each year and are so appreciative to The Fred Astaire Studio of Greenwich who continue to support Abilis in this very special way. We are thrilled to have our wonderful celebrity judges and master of ceremonies back year-after-year — and the incredible dancing stars who give so much of their time to come out and support Abilis with their wonderful performances. Funds raised at the event go toward supporting the acquisition and renovation of new program space for Abilis, which is greatly needed as we continue to grow above and beyond what the state provides for services, care and needs of children and adults with disabilities. The dancer's and the audience’s support enable us to deliver on our mission to provide high-quality programs and supports to our more than 800 Abilis program participants and residents throughout Fairfield County.”
Dancing Stars of Greenwich mirrors the hit TV show and features a Dancing with the Stars dance competition where community and business leaders are paired with Fred Astaire Dance professionals to perform their own personalized routines with their own dance style of their choice. The celebrity panel of judges determines the winner of the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy. A People’s Choice Award is given to the dancer who raises the most in donations for Abilis.
Dancers at the event include: Afton Fraser of Greenwich; Amy Farber of Greenwich; Daniella Mini of Greenwich; Elaine Madonna of Greenwich; Dr. Jennifer Werely of Greenwich; Kristy Hickman of Norwalk; Lauren Eisler and Benjamin (Benji) Rabinowitz of New York, New York; Paul Scicchitano of Greenwich; Shari Aser of Greenwich; Terry Lamantia Cataldo of Greenwich; Makeda Mays-Green and Kenny Green of Stamford; and Trevor Crow of Greenwich.
Each dancer is paired with a professional partner from The Fred Astaire Studio. Those dancers are: Elmar Schmidt and Clemens Lengenfelder, co-owners of The Fred Astaire Studio of Greenwich, Matthew Ames, Carol Koutouvides and Christian Perry.
“Dancing is what we do and hosting Dancing Stars of Greenwich is just one of our favorite events ever,” noted Elmar Schmidt. “Local stars and leaders in the community have been training for months to compete just like on television. A panel of celebrity judges along with the audience selects the winner who will win the coveted Mirrorball trophy. It is so exciting!”
Brendan and Afton Fraser have been long-time supporters of Abilis and Dancing Stars of Greenwich throughout the years and are this year’s co-hosts. They are also parents to a son with disabilities and know personally how crucial programs and supports like Abilis offers are to families with children and adults with disabilities.
“We are proud to support Dancing Stars of Greenwich and Abilis to help raise funds for Abilis’ programs and services,” said Afton Fraser. “We know how much it means to a family to have an organization like Abilis that can help provide training, education, social and employment opportunities for individuals and their families.It can mean the difference between living an isolated life and one full of friends and with meaning. They are really a great organization, and we are happy to help in any way."
To VOTE for a dancing star, please visit greenwichdancingstars.com.
Abilis is a 501c3 non-profit organization that supports more than 800 individuals with disabilities and their families from birth throughout their lives. Founded in 1951, Abilis is a leader in providing meaningful supports to the community in Fairfield County, Connecticut, in towns including Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Ridgefield, Stamford, Westport and Wilton. The organization has a long-standing reputation for individualized, high-quality care. For more information, visit www.abilis.us, or follow on Facebook @Abilis, Inc., Instagram @abilis_us or Twitter @Abilis.
Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Greenwich provides ballroom and Latin dance lessons to all ages and attracts participants from the Greenwich, Stamford and New Canaan, Connecticut, areas, and Armonk, Harrison, White Plains, Port Chester, Rye, Mamaroneck and Scarsdale, New York, areas. There is no partner or experience necessary to enjoy ballroom dance lessons. Fred Astaire Dance Studio has made it its personal mission to touch as many lives with a passion for ballroom dancing. The Fred Astaire Dance Studio is one of the happiest, friendliest spots in town due to the welcoming and encouraging staff and atmosphere. Fred Astaire’s mission is to enrich the lives of everyone and anyone with dance. The organization genuinely strives to make dance a daily practice in the dance studio. Fred Astaire doesn’t just teach someone how to dance, they invite them to become their personal best - in their dancing and in all areas of their life. Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Greenwich is co-owned by Elmar Schmidt and Clemens Lengenfelder, along with their wives Isabell Schmidt and Jessica Lengenfelder. To learn more, visit fredastaire.com/greenwich.