Wednesday, 03 December 2014 09:37

The Danceoff to Raise Money for the Well House

Written by  Kayla Hay
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The Danceoff to Raise Money for the Well House Courtesy Photo

 The Danceoff
The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapids
Dec. 6, 8 p.m.
$10, 18+, (616) 272-3758

Competition thrives in all of us. A good arm wrestle with a buddy, touch football on a summer day or a hard-core dance off, with the latter happening at The Pyramid Scheme.

“One of the many things that really brings people together is dance,” said Jonathan Williams, co-founder of The Danceoff. “The idea was always to do a community event that was a dance off."

All proceeds from the event will go to the Well House, a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving homelessness and poverty by placing individuals and families in homes. For the event, Williams worked with Tami VandenBerg, co-owner of The Pyramid Scheme and The Meanwhile and Well House executive director.

“People love to watch other people dance, throw in the fact that money is being raised for a nonprofit charity and this event should attract a full house," VandenBerg said.

Williams was unsure who to partner with for the event. That was until he met VandenBerg.

“I was inspired by her progressive approach and how she was willing to try new unique programming [at the Pyramid Scheme]," Williams said.

In November, open auditions were held for the public with the only restriction being to keep dancers routines under two minutes.

“Being as diverse as possible, we wanted to showcase as many hidden talent dancers around West Michigan that we could,” Williams said.

Starting as a progressive business idea and ending with 15 contestants, a professional DJ and four judges, the first annual Danceoff is off to a good start.

“We selected a wide variety of dancers with different styles including hip-hop, contemporary, tap and popping," Williams said. “I’ve always been a sucker for a spicy community events and I admit that hosting a dance competition has always been a strange dream of mine.”

Everything about this Danceoff is local including the judges Todd Chance from MLive, choreographer, dance instructors Laura Armenta and Shirley Arill and Amy Wilson, artistic director of the Dance Annex. Keeping with the community-themed event, Michigan-born producer and DJ SuperDre will be performing all night as well.

Cash prizes will be given to first, second and third-place winners. The audience can look forward to this dance competition in the future, as Williams has plans for an annual event.

“We really wanted to do something that has never been done before and not only do the dancers get to benefit from it, but the whole community.”

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