GroundWorks DanceTheater held their annual fundraising gala – It Takes Two – on Saturday, April 25th, 2015 at the Global Center for Health Innovation. The sell-out event featured a star-studded line up of Cleveland-based celebrity dancers:

• Jack Bialosky, Jr. (Bialosky + Partners)
• Lee Fisher (CEOs for Cities)
• Deb Janik (Greater Cleveland Partnership)
• Ginger Mlakar (Cleveland Foundation)
• Christine Amer Mayer (GAR Foundation)
• Kris Monaco-Geis (Geis Companies)
• Graham Veysey (Northwater Partners / Hingetown)

In addition to the event’s highly anticipated “Dancing with the Stars” style competition that featured this line up along with members of GroundWorks, the evening included dinner, live music and dancing for all attendees. Celebrity dancers rehearsed in the month leading up to the competition – their journeys captured in video here.

After attendee votes were tallied, the evening’s top vote collectors were:
• Deb Janik (over 1,300 votes)
• Lee Fisher and Kris Monaco-Geis (tied for Runner Up, having each collected over 1,000 votes)

Votes were made available for a purchase price of $5. The celebrity line up solicited $30,000 in votes alone. Money raised through It Takes Two supports GroundWorks’ education programs – a central part of the organization’s mission. But the evening is as much about a mission as it is about entertainment. Says runner up Lee Fisher: “I can’t remember when I’ve had so much fun and learned so much – all for a great cause!”

This sentiment truly underlines the GroundWorks ethos. “Our evolving philosophy of creating opportunities for people to experience dance in different and meaningful ways, in addition to our performances, pushes us to create experiences to witness, respond to and participate in movement/dance programs,” says Executive Artistic Director, David Shimotakahara.

“The It Takes Two event is truly a once in a lifetime experience,” says first-place winner Deb Janik, Senior Vice President of the Greater Cleveland Partnership. “I was launched way, way out of my comfort zone – but soon realized I was in the hands of unbelievably talented artists who actually made it look like I knew what I was doing! What an incredible asset this organization is for our community. I can’t wait for next year!”

Here are some of our favorite pictures from the night!