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Locals to Shake Their Groove During ‘Dancing with the LIC Stars’ on Friday

Master of Ceremonies will be Karesia Batan and Brent O’Leary (Facebook)

Nov. 11, 2019 Staff Report

Who has the smoothest moves in Long Island City?

Find out when Dancing with the LIC Stars fills Plaxall Gallery with salsa, tango, and disco on Friday, Nov. 15, at 6 pm. (Hint: It’s not Sean Spicer.)

The sixth annual contest will pit duos – consisting of one LIC community member and one Queens-based choreographer – against each other as they show off their talent for a title, glory, pride, and 365 days of local bragging rights.

Tickets are $60 for adults, but children can attend for $10 each. Attendees have access to an open bar, a buffet featuring cuisine from local restaurants, and raffles for such prizes as museum memberships, spa treatments, and fitness packages.

As to be expected in the world’s most diverse county, the scheduled performers and genres represent many different cultures.

For example, Mary Duncan-Stein, a co-director with SING LIC, will work with Jackson Heights resident Yamini Kalluri to offer Indian Kuchipudi dance. Meanwhile, Pat Sugrue and Jeimy Mora from LIC’s Martinez Dance Studios will do Salsa, and Benjamin Lucheux will bust some Urban Modern steps with Yu Fujiwara of the Elmhurst-based A&Y Duo.

Here are the other teams:

• Iulia Galan and Blair Hotchner from The Rogue Dancers of Briarwood will dazzle with theatrical moves.
• Jonna Stark and Crystal Ife Sekhem of the Fanike! African Dance Troupe from Springfield Gardens will offer African choreography.
• Brendan Hall and Paige “Queen TuT” Stewart from Rosedale’s Kingdom Dance Company will rock some Hip-Hop.
• Sebastian Morel-Ferreira, a fitness and lifestyle coach, and Marc Nuñez from Sunnyside’s Gotham Dance Theater will do Street Jazz.

The contestants will twirl, groove, and spin in front of a panel of judges with a distinctively LIC flair. Richard Mazda, who runs The Secret Theatre, is on the list. Gianna Cerbone-Teoli from Manducatis Rustica is ready to rate. So are Israel Martinez from Martinez Dance Studios, Anna Graci from ProHealth Dental, and local “Dancing with the Stars” expert Joseph Pilla.

Brent O’Leary, president of the Hunters Point Civic Association, will be the master of ceremonies with help from Queensboro Dance Festival Executive Director Karesia Batan, the event’s main organizer.

Half of the proceeds will go to The Floating Hospital, which operates three health centers in LIC and Astoria. The other half will benefit the Queensboro Dance Festival, a nonprofit that works with 33 local troupes to organize 26 free performances around the borough.

“This event is such a special outpouring of our LIC community,” stated Batan. “Many of our participating community members have never done anything like this before, but took on the dance challenge and embraced the opportunity to have fun while stepping outside of their comfort zone.”
Located at 5-25 46th Ave.

The Plaxall Gallery is a 12,000-square-foot venue that hosts workshops, performances, and art shows. It’s also the home of nonprofit LIC-A or Long Island City Artists.

Editor’s note: Readers might have noticed that a Martinez Dance Studio employee, Jeimy Mora, is in the competition while another employee, Israel Martinez, is a judge. Don’t worry, the judge claims that he will be completely impartial.

For tickets, click here

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