For those looking to dance the night away, put on your dancing shoes, loosen those purse strings and get ready to “get down” at a gala event that will support the new Mad Hot St. John scholarship.
The fundraiser, slated for Friday night, September 11, at 7:00 p.m. at the Westin Ballroom, will feature dancing lessons from world renowned dance instructor Pierre Dulaine.
Starting this month, Dulaine’s exciting new curriculum, Dancing Classrooms, will culminate in classrooms across the island, exposing students to the art of competitive ballroom dancing.
“Some of the students who go through the program will be eligible for the Mad Hot St. John Scholarship,” said Bob Emmett.
The Pond Bay Club developer was inspired by Dulaine’s innovative educational program and looking for a community project to launch on the island. A formal program will be offered to fifth grade students at all three island schools and ballroom dancing classes will be available to students in all grades who are interested as well as their dance-inspired teachers and parents, Emmett said.
“It is so exciting that we have Pierre Dulaine, one of the most famous dance instructors in the world and founder of this program coming to St. John for two days because he is so intrigued about starting this in the Caribbean,” Emmett said.
Jaycee Gossett, a former competitive Latin and Ballroom dancer who is spearheading the island’s Dancing Classrooms program, will be in attendance as well, he said.
“It will be a Caribbean elegant fundraiser,” Emmett said. “It’s $10 to get in the door and we will have an auction to raise money for St. John’s dance scholarship that will provide some funds toward college expenses for a St. John student who participated in the dance programs.”
Emmett said everyone should come out to support what will reignite a culture of dance on St. John for all ages.
“One of the world’s most famous dancers will be there to teach everyone some basic dance lessons and people will actually have the opportunity to dance with Pierre,” he said.
Merengue, Salsa, Fox Trot and Rumba lessons are just a smattering of the dance lessons on offer.
“If music doesn’t make you smile and dance, you are dead — you have no blood in your body,” Emmett exclaimed.
A three-night weekend at a two-bedroom villa on St. Bart’s, dinner for two at Hinds restaurant, dances with Pierre and three dance lessons with Jaycee Gossett and her on-island teaching team are a few of the prizes up for auction to raise funds for the scholarship.
While Pond Bay is sponsoring the three St. John instructors who have been trained and certified by Dulaine in New York City as well as all the materials and costs associated with the in-school dance program, the scholarship is something the developers are hoping to offer St. John students for years to come.
The community is also invited to attend the kick off party on Thursday, September 10, at Franklin Powell Park starting at 4:30 p.m. featuring Dulaine, dancing, hula hooping, root beer floats, pizza and music.