Students and Local Business Leaders Step into Dancing Shoes to Support Arts Center Fundraiser

Public is invited to attend 7th Annual “Dancing for the Arts” Gala on November 15th
Public is invited to attend 7th Annual “Dancing for the Arts” Gala on November 15th


[Bel Air, MD] October 23, 2014—Twelve ordinary Harford County residents, including three high school students, will be transformed into graceful ballroom dancers as they compete in Harford County’s Center for the Arts annual 7th annual “Dancing for the Arts” Gala.  The event takes place Saturday, November 15th from 6:30-11:30 p.m. at the Maryland Golf and Country Clubs, with all proceeds benefitting the non-profit organization that is working to build a home for the arts in Harford County.


The Gala offers attendees an evening of fine dining, an open bar, a live auction and a performance from Harford Ballet, but the highlight of the night is the ballroom dancing competition that puts the spotlight on the moves of the “celebrity” dancers as they take the floor and compete for the honor of being named the Dancing for the Arts champion.  Tickets are $185 per person and attire is black tie optional.


The Center for the Arts will also host a gala dress rehearsal that is open to the public on Friday, November 14th beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 or just $13 for children age 11 and under. Guests at both the Gala and the dress rehearsal are invited to vote for their favorite dancers.


This year’s celebrity dancers include Mary Ann Bogarty (Harford Bank VP), Jim Brady (Architect), Brady Fritz (Student at the John Carroll School), Tracy Hart (Radio and TV personality, KHZTV), Sharon Jacobs (Retired U.S. Army Colonel), Olivia Lang (Student at the John Carroll School), Reginald Przybylski (Private Investigator), Nahid Z. Shahry (Dentist), Karmen Slezak (Lawyer), Shelley Stannard (Baker), Jim Welch (Public Relations Officer) and Maxwell Wray (Student at Aberdeen High School).  Each dancer has a fundraising goal and they all have been hosting individual events to help them reach that target.


None of the participants have prior dance experience, but each dancer has been working to perfect his or her ballroom skills with dance coach and choreographer Tom Rzepnicki or his dance instructor partner, Natasha Pollock. Tom Rzepnicki is a professional dancer and the owner of Dancing With Friends Studio in Harford County, as well as the organizer of the New Jersey Open Championships in Atlantic City.  Natasha Pollock studied dance for seven years in the Soviet Union before moving to the United States in 2005.  She now trains with Rzepnicki in all aspects of Ballroom and Theatrical Arts.


“The enthusiasm of this year’s dancers is infectious!” said event chair Dr. Mary Teddy Wray, of Laurel Bush Family Dentistry.  “They have been hard at work practicing their moves and soliciting support. This year’s Gala promises to be a lot of fun!”


Center for the Arts CEO Kathy Smith added, “The Gala is an important opportunity to rally the Center’s supporters and invigorate them to go into the community to be ambassadors for the Center’s mission: to provide a home for the arts in Harford County.”


Sponsorships for the Gala are still available. For additional information, to support a dancer, or to purchase tickets to the Gala or dress rehearsal, visit




About the Center for the Arts ( –Founded in 2005, the Center for the Arts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a permanent site for performance, display, and education in the arts in Harford County, Maryland.  The mission of the Center for the Arts is to nurture art and artists, and positively impact the community at large by providing a broad range of experiences in music, dance, theater, visual and literary arts.

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