Celebrating A Decade of Dancing With The Denver Stars
It was a night of celebration as Cleo Parker Robinson Dance (CPRD) marked 10 years of Dancing With The Denver Stars (DWTDS) as 13 new stars were nervously backstage ready to step out for the grand entrance at the Denver Hilton City Center Ballroom.
The most popular dance party in town was sold out with 700 guests in attendance along with seven alumni Stars, CPRD’s Junior Youth Ensemble, Youth Ensemble, Cleo II, and the world-renowned Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. By the end of the evening, Denver-born emcee Shedrick Garrett (aka Shed G) had the audience in stitches and Reggie Rivers’ fundraising finesse garnered more than $328,000. Event funds have benefitted 17,000 CPRD Arts-In-Education (AIE) students in 77 schools around Denver and Front Range communities during the 2018 to 2019 school year. The program grew by 14 schools from the 2017 to 2018 year. With the renewed support, the team is ready to deliver quality programming to students during the 2019 to 2020 school year benefitting 17,000 students who learn a unique blend of art, movement, and culture.
“This evening isn’t a competition, but a celebration of dance. The winners are the thousands of students who have the opportunity to learn dance because of the courage of our community leaders on the dance floor tonight,” said Founder and Artistic Director Cleo Parker Robinson.
The evening kicked off with a Colorado Governor’s Proclamation of August 10, 2019 as Cleo Parker Robinson Day read by cabinet member Kim Bimestefer, executive director for the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing and an alumni dancer and former event chair. Celia Dietrich, founder and CEO of Dietrich & Co., was the 2019 event chair, and together with Gwen Brewer, the driving force of the Broadway-themed dance event led committees to produce the event.
A highlight of the evening including seven alumni dancers dancing to “One” from A Chorus Line including Michael Sawaya, Crisanta Duran, Huy Pham, Bruce Johnson, Amy Parsons, Colleen Faddick, Esq., and Marcia Romero.
Dancing With The Denver Stars pairs a community or business leader with a member of the CPRD Ensemble. The 13 dance partners performed a medley of Broadway show tunes; and together with Cleo Parker Robinson, they developed their performance and costuming during a demanding summer rehearsal schedule.
The 2019 cast included:
- Karen McNeil-Miller CEO, Colorado Health Foundation with Cedric Hall (“This Joint is Jumpin" and "Ain't Misbehavin')
- Dave Mayhan, Esq., Butler Snow with Theresa Berger Moore (“Conga" and "On Your Feet")
- Dr. Janine Davidson, President, Metropolitan State University of Denver with John Roberts (“Who Loves You [Pretty Baby]" and "Jersey Boys")
- Nikki Price, Director of Pharmacy Operations, Albertsons/Safeway Denver & Intermountain Division with Tyveze LittleJohn (“Uptown Girl/Movin Out" medley)
- Ron Klump, CEO, Dietrich & Company with YooJung Hahm (“Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and "Motown the Musical")
- Mardi Moore, Esq., The Law Office of Mardi Moore, P.C. with Samiyah Parramore (Duo dance from Chicago "All That Jazz/Razzle Dazzle" and "Chicago")
- Reverend Quincy Shannon Dean of Students, Denver School of Science & Technology (Green Valley Ranch/Middle School) with Jasmine Francisco (“It Takes Two/Got to Give it Up", and "Pride and Joy, The Marvin Gaye Musical")
- Dr. Maude Lofton, CEO, 4-Ever Young Foundation with Alex Gordon ("Emerald City Scene/No Bad News" from The Wiz)
- Kynnie Martin, Sr. Foundation Rep., Xcel Energy with Martez McKinzy (“Greased Lightning/Hand Jive" from Grease)
- Ashley Kilroy, Exec. Dir., City of Denver Excise & Licensing with Chris Page-Sanders (“Get Ready [Cause Here I Come]" and “Ain’t Too Proud”)
- Dianne Primavera, Lieutenant Governor, State of Colorado with Davry Ratcliffe ("Circle of Life" from The Lion King)
- Gisela Shanahan, CFO, Denver International Airport with Edgar Aguirre (“Lady Marmalade" "Moulin Rouge")
- Darryl Collier, Associate VP, Empower Retirement with Ralaya Goshea (“Steppin to the Bad Side/ (Disco)" from Dreamgirls)
“I’m delighted to announce that one of our dance alumni, Amy Parsons, will serve as the 2020 DWTDS Event Chair during the organization’s 50th Anniversary Year,” said CPRD Executive Director Malik Robinson. “We have an exciting year of growth ahead as we celebrate a half-century of cultural leadership in Denver.”
CPRD Arts-In-Education programs
- 17,000 students in Denver and the Front Range
- Students in 52 percent of AIE outreach schools have 60 percent or higher free/reduced lunch
- Program fees are a sliding-scale based on student populations and schools which prioritize arts education.
- PreK to 12th grade level curricula
- Dance, Culture, History, Physical Activity, Music are blended into outreach programs
- Outreach is tailored to school needs: one-time, short-term, long-term, full-time or week-long residencies
- Shades of Hip Hop, the History of Dance, choreography, and cultural history introduce students to artistic movement in a variety of genres