Dancing with Indy’s Stars
Dance Kaleidoscope Holds ‘Shall We Dance’ Fundraiser
Writer / Joshua Deisler
When Tonya Stanfield moved to Indianapolis, she was given tickets to a performance featuring dancers from Dance Kaleidoscope (DK). Since then, Tonya has not only strived to see every DK performance, but she has also made supporting the company and Indy’s performing art scene her passion.
During the day, Tonya works in IT, but she strongly adheres to the advice “do what you’re most passionate about.” A love for event planning and fundraising has pushed her into her second job of supporting performing arts in the community.
“What truly inspired me was how easy it is to get our community behind you when fundraising. The generosity was overwhelming,” she says.
Tonya began her fundraising ventures with the first annual ‘Mutt Cup,’ a cocktail competition to benefit local animal shelters. Now Tonya is planning a much larger fundraiser, Indy’s version of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Now in its 44th season, DK supports the Indianapolis community through entertainment and education. Each season, DK’s professional dancers offer a variety of performances, including a recent October ballet called Remembrances in memory of the Holocaust.
DK’s professional dancers also teach workshops in ballet and modern dance, organize dance summer camps and movement workshops, and partner with IPS and Tindley Collegiate School to introduce students to the art of dance and movement.
With all these programs, DK is always looking for additional funding beyond ticket sales. When Tonya eventually joined DK’s board, she wanted to use her fundraising and organizing skills to help.
After researching ideas, Tonya heard of a nearby dance company that held a “Dancing with The Stars” fundraiser. In its first year, the fundraiser raised $25,000. Last year, the competition made nearly $250,000. Tonya seized a great opportunity.
Tonya and other board members have been planning the event for almost a year. Back in January, they began looking for local dance instructors. After securing their help, they worked to build a list of potential celebrities. “Everyone we got is very enthusiastic,” says Tonya.
The celebrity list includes media personalities such as Nikki Reed of the ‘Smiley Morning Show’ and Raphael Sanchez of RTV-6. Throughout the past few months, these and other Indy locals have worked with dance instructors to create a 2-3 minute performance at the Shall We Dance event.
Shall We Dance will take place November 15 in the Park Tutor gymnasium. The event starts at 7 p.m., but a VIP cocktail hour will take place before from 5:30-6:30. The cocktail hour features specialty drinks and a meet and greet session with the celebrity dancers and dance instructors.
After the event begins, each team will present its dance. A panel of three judges will give a score and feedback. Beginning before and continuing into the event, audience members can use their DK donations as a vote for their favorite celebrity. At the end of the night, an audience and judge’s choice will be awarded.
“We’ll hopefully raise a lot of money for DK,” says Tonya, who hopes that many people will be exposed to DK’s mission through the Shall We Dance competition. Sometime during the show, DK dancers will perform a preview of an upcoming performance.
Visit dancekal.org/support/shall-we-dance to learn more about the event, the celebrities and to order tickets.