Northern Kentucky Restaurateur Johnny Chu
and Dance Pro Doreen Beatrice
Crowned Dancing for the Stars 2015 Champs
Doug Bolton named ‘Fundraising Champion’
CINCINNATI, OH – Johnny Chu (owner, KungFood Chu’s AmerAsia restaurant) and his dance pro Doreen Beatrice (Step-N-Out Dance Studio) received a near-perfect score of 38 (out of 40), taking first place at the Cincinnati Arts Association’s (CAA) ninth-annual Dancing for the Stars on Saturday, April 11, 2015 at the Music Hall Ballroom. Doug Bolton (managing principal, DTZ, formerly Cassidy Turley) took home the ‘Fundraising Champion’ Award, as the celebrity who raised the most money for the event through ticket sales and donations.
With an audience this year of nearly 900 guests (a new attendance record), the sold-out event reached its projected net revenue goal of $95,000 in support of CAA’s acclaimed arts education programs, including the Overture Awards – the nation’s largest locally-run high school arts scholarship competition.
Diana Maria Lara (corporate director of media & public relations, UC Health) and Jozsef Parragh (independent dance instructor) took second place; and Doug Bolton and Leigh Bradshaw (Cincinnati Ballroom Company) placed third.
The remaining four dance pairs included:
- Mary Bettman (owner, Chef’s Café – Sharonville) and Jeremy Mainous (Arthur Murray Dance Studio – Cincinnati)
- George Foster (former member of the Cincinnati Reds’ ”Big Red Machine”; Cincinnati business owner) and Desiree Mainous (Arthur Murray Dance Studio – Cincinnati)
- Barbara Hauser (manager, Ohio Government & Community Relations, Procter & Gamble) and Brian McNamee (Cincinnati Ballroom Company)
- Devinder Mangat, MD, FACS (founder, Mangat-Kuy-Holzapfel Plastic Surgery Centers) and Bonita Brockert (independent dance instructor)
Inspired by the hit ABC-TV show Dancing with the Stars, Dancing for the Stars 2015 featured seven Cincinnati celebrities paired with some of the area’s finest professional dancers in a competition program, at which the audience vote and judges scores propelled the winners to victory. The competitive dance for the evening was Salsa, and each dance pair had 90 seconds to woo the crowd and the judges.
Event emcees were Chris O’Brien & Janeen Coyle (“Married With Microphones,” 103.5 WGRR-FM). The four competition judges were Douglas Beal (independent dance instructor), Drew Lachey (98 Degrees, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars Season 2 champion), Joe Rigotti (creative director, Accent on Cincinnati; event planner; Dancing for the Stars 2012 alum), and Britney Ruby-Miller (director of operations, Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment; Dancing for the Stars 2014 alum).
Currently in its ninth year, Dancing for the Stars has become one of the most-anticipated fundraising events of the season. Since the event’s debut in 2007, sixty-four local celebs have ‘danced for a cause’, and the impressive list of past champions includes: 2007 – Dr. O’dell Owens (president, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College; former Hamilton County coroner); 2008 – Jenell Walton (local news personality; former reporter, The List; former WCPO-TV9 anchor and reporter); 2009 – Phil Schworer (president – Cincinnati Bar Association / environmental lawyer); 2010 – Donna Speigel (owner, The Snooty Fox); 2011 – Dr. Tracey Skale, M.D. (chief medical officer, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services), 2012 – Regina Russo (chief of communications, Contemporary Arts Center; former director of marketing and communications, Cincinnati Art Museum; former anchor/reporter, WXIX-TV19), 2013 – Chris Seelbach (Cincinnati City Councilman), and 2014 – Neal Schulte (founder & president, Schulte Financial Group, LLC).
In addition, Dancing for the Stars 2015 featured:
- Dinner-by-the-bite provided by A Catered Affair, Alfio’s buon cibo, Eddie Merlot’s, Funky’s Catering, Jeff Thomas Catering, Kroger, Lala’s Blissful Bites, Oriental Wok, Palomino Restaurant & Bar, Prime 47, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Skyline Chili, Tres Belles Cakes, Vonderhaar’s Catering, Inc., and Whole Foods Market
- Raffle of upscale gift packages and a diamond ring from Philip Bortz Jewelers
- Popular DJ and 103.5 WGRR personality Rockin’ Ron Schumacher
- Pre-event wine tasting and meet-and-greet with the stars
- Open dancing before and after the competition
Event highlights included:
- An athletic and inspiring contemporary dance performed by talented 2015 Overture Award dance winner, Joseph Harrington.
An encore dance by last season’s champions, Neal Schulte and Leigh Bradshaw, featuring a cha cha cha to James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing.”
- Two big screens that featured live video of the competition and engaging video introductions of the stars and pros (interviews and rehearsal footage) before their dances.
- Charming champs Johnny Chu and Doreen Beatrice scored the night’s only perfect 10s (from two of the four judges) with a hip-hop infused salsa to “Uptown Funk” (Mark Ronson, featuring Bruno Mars), punctuated at the end of the dance by the signature moves to Psy’s “Gangnam Style,” during which the couple was joined by ‘back-up’-dancer friends.
- An emotional salsa from Diana Maria Lara and Jozsef Parragh, who were dancing for Diana’s Dad, who passed away last year, loved dancing, and was a veteran of WWII. Diana slipped and fell in the beginning of her dance, but valiantly picked herself up, started again, and placed 2nd in the competition… wearing her Dad’s WWII dogtags around her neck. Diana’s competition mantra: #dancingfordad.
- A high-scoring and sensual salsa by Fundraising Champ Doug Bolton and dance pro Leigh Bradshaw brought cheers from Bolton’s many fans, who in support, held up VERY LARGE posters of his face after the dance.
- The warm smile of Mary Bettman lit up the room (and the judges’ hearts) during her traditional salsa with Jeremy Mainous.
- P&G’s Barbara Hauser wowed her many fans with a Latin-flavored salsa to Shakira’s “Te Aviso, Te Anunico.”
- Reds legend George Foster proved he could swing more than a baseball bat with some swinging hip action and smooth moves to Lionel Ritchie’s “All Night Long” with dance pro Desiree Mainous.
- An entertaining salsa to Madonna’s “Going Bananas” danced by Devinder Mangat in a bright-blue zoot suit and Bonita Brockert in a Carmen Miranda-inspired fruit headdress and umbrella bedecked with dangling bananas – two of the best outfits of the night.
- Humorous, astute, and supportive comments from the Dancing for the Stars panel of judges.
- The sold-out event had an exceptionally responsive, raucous, and energetic audience, which included large cheering sections holding signs with various messages.
- After the competition, the dance floor at the Music Hall Ballroom filled with the evening’s guests who danced the night away to music by DJ Rockin’ Ron from 103.5 WGRR.
Dancing for the Stars 2015 Presenting Sponsor: UC Health
Dancing for the Stars 2015 Event Sponsors: Accent on Cincinnati – Joe Rigotti, The Alleen Company, Arthur Murray – Blue Ash, Bonita Brockert, Carey Digital, Cincinnati Ballroom Company, Doreen Beatrice, Heidelberg Distributing Company, Jeff Thomas Catering, Kroger, Jozsef Parragh, Pebble Creek Group, Pepsi, and Step-N-Out Dance Studio – Covington.
Dancing for the Stars 2015 Committee: Dr. Tracey Skale, chair (Dancing for the Stars 2011 champ), Christina Bolden, Terry Foster, Sue Gilkey, Jim Howland, Rosemary Schlachter, and Phil Schworer.
CAA’s OVERTURE AWARDS AND ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAMS
Cincinnati Arts Association’s Education and Community Relations programs promote life-long engagement in the arts, while contributing to individual, organizational, and community success. With a mission to educate, inspire, and engage the Tri-state region, these accessible arts programs ignite the imagination of students of all ages.
The Overture Awards is one of several programs (which also include Artist on Tour, SchoolTime, Emerging Arts Leaders, and more) that have served more than 1.3 million children and adults since the inception of CAA’s Education and Community Relations programs nearly two decades ago. CAA is proud of its newest initiative, “Arts in Healing,” that will promote wellness through the arts.
The Overture Awards – the largest locally-run, high school arts scholarship competition in the country – recognizes, encourages, and rewards excellence in the arts among Tri-State students in grades 9-12. It also provides students an opportunity to share their talents and interests among their peers in a supportive environment outside of their individual schools.
Each year, more than 450 students are nominated by their schools to compete, and this year’s competition awarded $42,000 in scholarships for excellence in Creative Writing, Dance, Instrumental Music, Theater, Visual Art, and Vocal Music. To date, The Overture Awards has awarded $584,000 to support artistically-talented students in pursuit of their dreams. Now in its 19th year, The Overture Awards was launched in 1996 by the Cinergy Foundation and Leadership Cincinnati (a Greater Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce program).
For more information about CAA’s Education and Community programs, visit www.cincinnatiarts.org/education-community.
CINCINNATI ARTS ASSOCIATION
Founded in 1992, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the programming and management of the Tri-state’s finest performing arts venues – the Aronoff Center for the Arts and Music Hall – and is dedicated to supporting performing and visual arts. Each year, CAA presents a diverse schedule of events; serves more than 600,000 people in its venues; features the work of talented local, regional, and national artists in the Weston Art Gallery (located in the Aronoff Center); and supports the work of more than one dozen resident companies.