The Fred Astaire Dance Studio-Reston, located at 585 Grove St., in Herndon, lit up the night as they presented a charity gala based on ABC's number one entertainment show, Dancing with Stars. The event was held at the Hyatt Regency Dulles in Herndon on Veterans Day, Saturday, Nov.11, 5:45-11:30 p.m. Tickets for the event sold out weeks before the date, leaving the ballroom with a capacity crowd.
The night included a silent and live auction, celebrity guest judges, and dinner with wine service. Professional performances, complete with gorgeous costumes and a playlist of hot tracks, as well as the evening's exceptional Dancing with the Services Show and Awards Presentation completed the evening.
Judges for the evening-long benefit gala featured local celebrities Lacy Schwimmer of Dancing with the Stars, Fox 5's Emmy award-winning Chief Meteorologist Tucker Barnes, and John Booty, former NFL defensive back and winner of Dancing with the Stars D.C. The three critiqued the dance moves of the Service "Stars” competing for the first place Mirrorball Trophy.
Ten active local service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Town of Herndon Police Department, Fairfax Police Department, DC National Guard and even the Vice Mayor of Herndon volunteered to dance as competitors.
“I was so excited and honored to be asked to participate in this... event. It’s everything I could have imagined and more,” wrote Jennifer Baker, Vice Mayor of Herndon on the Fred Astaire Dance Studio-Reston website.
The 10 Dancing with the Services “Stars” included: Denise Randles, Herndon Police Department; Jennifer Baker, Vice Mayor of Herndon; Stephen Thompson, Herndon Police Department; Arthur Bruck, Firefighter and United States Army; Arrington Level, United States Air Force; Jordan Cornelius, United States Air Force; Ryan Daily, United States Navy; Dawn Devaney, M.D.; and Tammy Russell, Fairfax Police Department.
According to Susannah Moss, executive director of Fred Astaire Dance Studio-Reston, competitors had been paired with a certified Fred Astaire dance instructor. Each pair learned a choreographed dance routine for the judges to score. The competitors spent weeks practicing their steps.
“I feel so blessed and fortunate to be able to put on this exciting event, and uniquely adding the twist of promoting who our community celebrities should really be, all those men and women in uniform as they are today's real stars," wrote Susannah Moss, Studio Director Fred Astaire Dance Studio-Reston.
One hundred percent of all proceeds from auction items, white donation envelopes, and funds raised by the competitors benefited three local service organizations – the Police Unity Tour Chapter IV, The PINK FUND, and the Fraternal Order of Police Greater Herndon Lodge # 64.
At the end of the evening, although it was a challenging call, the judges awarded the Mirrorball Trophy to Dawn Devaney, M.D., and Sevrin Shapiachan owner of Fred Astaire Dance Studio Reston/Herndon.