And the winner is....
Saturday night was certainly a night to remember in Ascension Parish.
An estimated 1,500 people descended on the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center to watch a multitude of local performers give it their all for a worthy cause.
Dancing for a Cause, an event designed to raise funds for the many services of the ARC of East Ascension, who promote programs and services for those with special needs within Ascension?Parish, kicked itself into high gear, as the crowd rooted for their favorites of the night.
This year’s event, the third since it’s conception, was jam-packed with something for everyone.
EATEL’s Community Connection anchor Jenny Heroman and former State Representative Roy Quezaire hosted the evening and ensured its smooth running. Both hosts wore outfits donated by Debbie’s Bridal and Squires. Debbie’s Bridal also donated a dress to Chairperson of the event Sharon Morris, who was escorted throughout the evening by her 12 year-old-son, Ronald D. Morris Jr., also in Squires.
Apart from the routines of this year’s nine performers and their partners, a number of other performances led to the evening’s success.
Whitney Vann and Leonard Augustus began the event by showcasing their skills in a routine reminiscent of the bygone days of New York’s Studio 54.
As the nine local dancers took to the stage, the crowds were thrilled with the work that had gone into the routines.
“I can’t believe how professional they all look,”?said Prairieville resident Jerrianne Landaiche Jacob. “It’s like they’ve been doing this all their lives.”
The dancers all worked diligently on their performances, and the leg work showed when it came to crunch time. The efforts of the dancers was clear when each one was awarded a prize.
Best Choreography went to Mark Dearman his partner Courtney Black. Dearman also picked up the award for Fan’s Choice.
Best Dressed went to Jodi Loar and her partner Guillermo Gonzalez.
Most Entertaining went to Chef KD and his partner Beverly Cook.
Most Original went to Gus Gutierrez and his partner Mary Bayle.
Best Use of Props went to Scott Banker and his partner Ryn Jones.
Most Energetic went to Russell Graham and his partner & Jewell?Reid.
Most Theatrical went to Brooke LeBlanc Knight and her partner LeBrian Patrick.
Most Memorable went to Wanda August and her partner Leonard Augustus.
Most Graceful went to Marie Broussard and her partner Victor Loveira.
Former dancers from past Dancing for a Cause events even banded together to showcase a routine they had been secretly working on for the night.
Perhaps the most special event of the evening was a performance by two special needs residents of the parish Yvonne Ross and Eric Foreman. Both utilize the services set out by COEA, and practiced repeatedly to get their routine just right.
The night could only have one overall winner, though, and this year, La.?State Trooper Russell Graham picked up that title.
“I can’t believe it,” he said. “Before this I couldn’t dance to save my life, and now I’ve won Dancing for a Cause. I am honored and truly thankful for the opportunity to have been here. It’s been a great night and a wonderful experience.”