July 25, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Social City News: Gypsy Awards by Professional Dancers Society & Ribbon Dance

President Mitzi Gaynor, honoree Carol Lawrence, and luncheon chairman Joni Berry at Gypsy Awards. Photo by Nathan Sternfeld
President Mitzi Gaynor, honoree Carol Lawrence, and luncheon chairman Joni Berry at Gypsy Awards. Photo by Nathan Sternfeld

“I just met a girl named Maria.” That’s what kept ringing in my ears when I had the opportunity to meet Carol Lawrence, who created the role of Maria, in the Broadway classic “West Side Story” in 1957. Time seems to have stood still for the energetic beauty that defines the term triple threat. After all, she is an actress, singer, and dancer of the first magnitude.

Lawrence was joined by other talented thespians at the 28th Gypsy Awards on March  which benefits the Professional Dancers Society, an affiliate of the Actors Fund. Their purpose is to provide funds to assist dancers in need. Mitzi Gaynor (“South Pacific”) is President of the Board of Directors and philanthropist Joni Berry, who supports this organization- as well as SHARE, are to be congratulated for another exciting afternoon.

In addition to Carol, three of the dance world’s finest choreographers, Alan Johnson, Miriam Nelson, and Walter Painter were honored. Some of the dancers these legends have worked with include Shirley MacLaine, Tommy Tune, Chita Rivera, and of course Ann Margaret, who was a presenter at the event.

Kudos to producer Lee Hale, who presented a collage of videos, featuring clips of the most dazzling dancers of all time: the Carousel Dance Company, who performed a Tribute to “West Side Story”; and the gorgeous “Gypsies” who have enriched our lives with their talent and creativity.

From left, The Blue Ribbon President Carla Sands and Guinness World Records Adjudicator Philip Robertson pose as they set a Guinness World Record for the largest ribbon dance performed during The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on April 9, 2015, in Los Angeles. Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging
From left, The Blue Ribbon President Carla Sands and Guinness World Records Adjudicator Philip Robertson pose as they set a Guinness World Record for the largest ribbon dance performed during The Blue Ribbon Children’s Festival at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on April 9, 2015, in Los Angeles. Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging

Speaking of outstanding dancers, more than 2,500 fifth grade students from L.A. County achieved the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest ribbon dance on April 9.

The extravaganza held at Music Center Plaza, was presented by the Blue Ribbon Women’s Group and highlighted the 45th annual Children’s Festival.

More than 16,000 students attended. They are California’s longest continuing arts education program focusing on the importance of the arts for students. Some of the Century City members include event co-chair Lois Rosen, Susan Rothenberg, and Francine Light. Brava to all these lovely ladies!

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