dining with the stars

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Thursday night’s post-show gala reception was something of a fairy tale. Bearing witness to this week’s impressive display of talent was a dream come true; Being a guest at that dinner was simply a dream.

Still buzzing from the collision of stars on stage, B and I ascended the stairs to the Koch Theatre’s grand promenade, unsure just what to expect. We were met with elegant rows of long dinner tables, sheathed in crisp white linens and delicate place settings. Curve-top chairs scalloped the edges of each strip, offering a place to rest and nosh on three courses of Mediterranean mezza, roast chicken and vegetables with light, thimble-sized cupcakes for dessert. Bottles of red, white and rosé dotted the tables generously, offering a welcoming dinner party vibe at the otherwise deliciously formal affair.

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0_63627760786362125016353320_46_PRIX_20170413_PA_164.JPGIMG_3189Youth America Grand Prix's 2017 Stars of Today Meet the Stars of Tomorrow Gala

Have you ever found yourself continuously looking around wondering Is everyone here Someone? and Wait am I cool enough to be here? It is only appropriate that a gala honoring such stars of the stage be also star-studded in attendance, but the realization of this fact does not quiet the giddy fangirl within. Luckily, I was able to keep it together long enough to introduce myself and congratulate some truly inspiring people on their well-deserved success. One of my favorite conversations was shared with the evening’s honorary chair, Amy Astley, whose ongoing support of ballet education throughout the years has been not only touching but also arguably integral in the rising popularity of ballet in the fashion industry and mainstream media. She was genuinely sweet, with an endearingly open adoration of the students circulating the event in tutus and pointe shoes, donation baskets in hand.

Of course, when it came time to express my thanks to the illustrious gala co-chairs, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, my 12-year-old self struggled to the surface of my skin, revealing her awkwardly emotional appreciation of their presence which read less as “thank you for being here tonight” and a bit more like “thank you for your musical detective series and Billboard Dad and New York Minute and for designing my first ever training bra and inspiring me to experiment with peasant puffed sleeves in the early 2000s!!!!!” But yeah, don’t worry, I totally kept my cool…

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I can’t think of a more glamorous way to support young ballet dancers pursuing their dreams. There’s a special sort of heartwarming that comes with seeing the likes of Julie Kent, Paloma Herrera, Chelsea Clinton, Woody Allen and Nicky Hilton supporting ballet education in a venue so near and dear to me.

Of course the night would not be complete without a bit more dancing. And it is here that I will get strange: ABBA’s Dancing Queen has now followed me twice into euphoric evenings- first at my brother’s wedding, where I belted and shimmied through the throwback with my adorable Gma, and again Thursday night in the middle of the David H. Koch Promenade. The groovy feel-good melody seems to be somewhat of a celestial symbol for me, a reminder to pinch myself and appreciate that I am absolutely having the time of my life.

By Annie Watt-47912-Dancers.jpg

Sidenote: Another throwback (this time of MK & A) is absolutely worth rewatching. Practice, practice, practice!

photos 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 14 by VAM Productions.

2 thoughts on “dining with the stars

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