Event Details

Tickets Are Available By Calling Juliet Garcia at 203-683-8628, or by email at jgarcia@fredastaire.com.


Dancing With Our Heroes 2018 Gala
Saturday, March 10, 2018
6:30pm-Midnight


Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa

(Click here for directions)

860-446-2600

625 North Road, Rte 117
Groton, CT 06340

The Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios of New England are partnering together for a fund-raising “Dancing with Our Heroes” Gala to be held Saturday, March 10, 2018 at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa in Groton, CT.

The event will feature general dancing, a sit-down dinner, a silent auction, and the “Dancing with Our Heroes” competition. The proceeds of the event will be donated to The Friends of Fisher House Connecticut in support of The Fisher House on the grounds of the West Haven VA. Our previous two events raised $280,000.

 

The “Dancing with Our Heroes” competition will be a Ballroom & Latin dance competition between our military heroes, who will each be partnered with a professional dance instructor. Each participating Fred Astaire Dance Studio is providing the instructors, dance shoes and free lessons to help the hero prepare for the competition. There is no cost to the hero for participation. Winners will be selected by audience votes and a panel of celebrity judges.


The Venue
Located in Groton, CT, the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa is the hub for corporate, group, conference and leisure travel in the Mystic, CT shore region. This destination is an architecturally stunning Connecticut hotel boasting 285 rooms and suites. Our location is convenient to New York City and Boston,as well as the Hartford CT Bradley airport and the Providence TF Green RI airport.

Program of Activities at the Gala

 

6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Cocktail Hour
Meet and Greet with Heroes
Silent Auction Opens

 

7:30 pm
Welcome
National Anthem
MIA/POW Ceremony

 

7:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Dinner

 

9:30 pm

Silent Auction Closes

 

9:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Professional Competitors
Dancing with Our Heroes Competition

 

10:30 pm – 11:30 pm
Professional Show

Awards

General Dancing

Pick-up Silent Auction Items

Meet Our Judges

Gabriela Jileva

 

Gabriela is the Owner, Manager and Dance Director of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Morristown, New Jersey. She started dancing and competing in Ballroom at the age of 10 in her native Bulgaria, where she won the National Open International Standard title and represented her country in the World Cup Championships in Vienna, Austria. After deciding to follow her dream and  move to the United States in 1998, she joined the Fred Astaire family to continue her professional dancing in International Standard. In 2010, she added American Smooth to her repertoire.  Over the last 2 decades with the Fred Astaire organization, Gabriela has achieved many accolades. Most recently has been an undefeated Fred Astaire Open International Standard Champion, 2-time Fred Astaire Open American Smooth Runner Up, 3-time NJ Manager of the Year, 3-time Top NJ Studio of the Year, and has been featured on the Fred Astaire Dance Studios’ International Standard syllabus videos. With much success in the dance business, Gaby currently enjoys traveling the country choreographing, adjudicating, training and coaching many of the national Amateur, Pro/Am and top Professional competitors. Gabriela’s passion lies in mentoring, inspiring, and motivating all those with whom she comes in contact.

          ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 7-time Fred Astaire Open International Ballroom Champion
  • United States Classic Show Dance Runner-Up
  • World Cup Open International Ballroom Runner-Up

 

          AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • American Smooth
  • American Rhythm
  • International Ballroom
  • Business Training

Hayk Arshakian

 

Hayk was born and raised in Armenia, where dancing is a huge part of the culture. He started dancing when he was 6 years old in the top dance studio in the country. He was very fortunate as a child to have very supportive parents, and extremely skilled and professional trainers throughout his entire career. He competed in Armenia from the age of 7 to 20, and in many International Competitions. At the age of 20, he came to the United States to represent Armenia in the World Championships, which were held in Miami. Shortly after that, Hayk found a new dance partner in the Fred Astaire Dance Studios organization, and became part of the company’s Wisconsin Region. Under the guidance of John Gates and Stephen Knight he has accomplished many dance and business goals. “I feel very fortunate to be part of such an incredible and supportive company as Fred Astaire Dance Studios. After 8 years of being an Instructor and 8 years of being a traveling Coach and Choreographer, I recently became an Owner of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Mequon, Wisconsin. I’m a huge believer in our company. I want to grow as a professional and help represent the company in the best and most professional way.”

          ACHIEVEMENTS

  • Armenian International Latin Champion
  • 11-Time Fred Astaire American Rhythm Champion
  • United States Finalist in American Rhythm
  • 4-Time United States Pro/Am American Rhythm Champion
  • 5-Time United States Pro/Am International Latin Finalist
  • Fred Astaire Top Teacher of the Year in 2005
  • Top Teacher of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios Wisconsin Region for several years

 

          AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • American Smooth
  • American Rhythm
  • Business Training
  • Choreography
  • International Latin

Jennifer Ford McCalla

 

Jennifer is a United States Official National Adjudicator and highly sought-after Coach. She has been on the Fred Astaire National Dance Board since 1997. She visits Fred Astaire Dance Studios throughout the United States and helps develop the quality of their staff’s and students’ dancing to the highest level. Jennifer’s passion and expertise is to train Professionals and Amateurs alike, so they achieve the highest level of competitive dancing. She regularly trains in Smooth, Rhythm, Standard and Latin. Uniquely, she started as a Fred Astaire Dance Studios student, and during that time was the United States Pro/Am American Style Rhythm and Smooth Champion and Theatre Arts.

          ACHIEVEMENTS

  • United States Representative to The World Standard, The World Latin, and 2-Time United States representative to the World Ten Dance Championships
  • United States Professional Ten Dance Runner-Up
  • The U.S. Peoples’ Choice Award for Professional Rising Star Professional Team
  • United States Professional Smooth 7th place Finalist
  • Undefeated Fred Astaire Professional Smooth Champion
  • Principal Member of the American Ballroom Theatre, under the direction of Pierre Dulaine, traveling North America, Europe, and Asia
  • Ohio Star Ball, North American Rising Star Smooth, Latin, Standard Champion
  • The United States Pro/Am Theatrical Champion

 

          AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • American Smooth
  • American Rhythm
  • International Ballroom
  • International Latin
  • Theater Arts
  • Excels at taking choreography and making it come alive
  • Phenomenal Rehearsal Director and Showcase Coordinator

Stanley McCalla

 

Stanley is a United States Official National Adjudicator and highly sought-after Coach. He has been on the Fred Astaire National Dance Board since 1997. He visits Fred Astaire Dance Studios throughout the United States, and helps develop the quality of their staff’s and students’ dancing to the highest level. Stanley’s passion and expertise is to train professionals and amateurs alike, so they achieve the highest level of competitive dancing. He regularly trains in Smooth, Rhythm, Standard and Latin. Stanley is the Co-Owner of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Mamaroneck, New York where he serves as Dance Director. As a Professional, he was a principal dancer for American Ballroom Theater, directed by Pierre Dulaine, for 7 Years. He, together with his wife Jennifer Ford McCalla, choreographed the Tango scene for Adam’s Family II. They were also Ballroom Consultants for The Stepford Wives (2004), where they choreographed the group waltz in the movie.

          ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 2-Time Fred Astaire National Dance Champion (Smooth)
  • United States Finalist (Smooth)
  • Ten-Dance United States Finalist
  • United States Championships Semi-Finalist (Latin)
  • Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Champion (Smooth)
  • Fred Astaire National Rising Star Champion (Smooth)
  • Fred Astaire National Syllabi Champion (Standard, Smooth)
  • Breakers and Texas Challenge Rising Star Champion (Standard, Smooth and Latin)
  • North American Rising Star Champion (Standard, Latin and Smooth)
  • Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Finalist (Standard and Latin)
  • United States Championships Rising Star Finalist (Latin, Standard and Smooth)
  • 4-Time United States Amateur Champion (Latin, Standard and Ten Dances)
  • 2-Time United States Amateur Champion (Rhythm and Smooth)

 

          AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • American Smooth
  • American Rhythm
  • Professional Certification
  • Choreography
  • International Latin
  • International Ballroom
  • Licentiate of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing in International Latin, Standard and Theater Arts

Chantal LeClerc

 

Chantal coaches at the Amateur, Pro/Am and Professional levels. She’s a Choreographer at all levels and styles, and is successful in making coaching, choreography and studio Showcases fun and easy to learn.

          ACHIEVEMENTS

  • 2-Time Undefeated Canadian Amateur Latin American Champion
  • 2-Time Undefeated Canadian Amateur Ten Dance Champion
  • Canadian Representative at three World Championships
  • Triple Crown Rising Star Champion
  • Classique du Quebec Rising Star Champion
  • Texas Challenge Rising Star Champion
  • Dance Director for the Fred Astaire Dance Studios Atlanta, GA Region
  • All levels of Certification and Examination in American & International Style
  • Member of NDCA: A+ B+ C+ D+

 

          AREAS OF EXPERTISE

  • International Latin
  • American Rhythm
  • American Smooth