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Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte
NCDT’s black tie gala takes place Jan. 11
Published Wednesday, January 8, 2014
by Michaela L. Duckett

Debra Plousha Moore (right), one of the local celebrities competing in Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte, practices her salsa moves with partner Jordan Leeper of NCDT during the final week before the competition.

North Carolina Dance Theater is hosting its annual black tie fundraiser this weekend.

“Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte: A Gala Evening in White” is Jan. 11 at Knight Theater. The competition pairs local celebrities, mainly leaders in the business community, with professional NCDT dancers to raise money for the dance company and the celebrity’s chosen charity.

Contestant Debra Plousha Moore said whether or not she wins first place, participating in the competition is a win/win situation because it allows her to support the arts while giving back to a worthwhile cause in the community.

“I am a supporter of the arts,” she said. “And the way they have arranged this unique experience is I am able to also contribute to a cause of my choice.”

Plousha Moore works with Carolinas HealthCare System as Chief Human Resources Officer/ Executive Vice President. Her chosen charity is the CHS Foundation.

“I’m supporting the Family Clinics,” she said. “These clinics provide outstanding healthcare to families and to children that have challenging economic situations. And our physicians and teammates take such pride in being able to extend their services and to keep people on track with their healthcare needs… and manage their healthcare with extraordinary outcomes.”

Plousha Moore, who turned 60 in November, is dancing the salsa with partner Jordan Leeper, who is in his third year with NCDT. She said the competition has been fun but at times more challenging than she anticipated.

“I’ve never had any kind of dance lessons,” she said. “Starting from scratch is always hard, and learning what you think you already know is a humility lesson… What I’ve learned about myself is that I’m still able to learn something new.”

Other local celebrities competing this year include: Brett Carter, Duke Energy’s senior vice president and chief distribution officer, dancing for Crisis Assistance Ministry; Andrea Smith, Bank of America’s global head of human resources, whose charity is Cookies for Kids Cancer; Carlos Evans, executive vice president and group head of the Eastern Division of Wells Fargo Commercial Banking (United Way of Central Carolinas); Jesse Cureton, Novant Health’s executive vice president and chief consumer officer (Novant Health Foundation); and Sherrard Georgius, a wardrobe consultant for Paul Simon Women, who is dancing in memory of her father. Her charity of choice is Good Friends Charlotte.

The entire community can participate by voting for their favorite stars or charities online at ncdance.org/gala, where you will also find videos of the stars discussing their charities and practicing with their partners. Each vote costs $1.

On Saturday, each star and his or her partner will compete in front of a panel of celebrity judges, emcees and a live audience. Audience members can cast additional votes via electronic voting devices, which will be provided at check in.

Winners will be announced in two categories: The People’s Choice Award will be presented to the Star Pair that receives the most votes, and the Judge’s Choice Award will be presented to the Star Pair judges determine had the best routine.

Saturday’s gala will kick off with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and a seated dinner for event sponsors, followed by The Dancing with the Stars of Charlotte competition.

During the after party, audience members will be invited to join the Star Pairs in taking a spin around the dance floor, and Philip Bailey of voice of Earth, Wind & Fire is scheduled to make a guest appearance on stage with Big Swing and The Ballroom Blasters.

Tickets start at $100 and are available at ncdance.org/gala.

All ticket sales and donations/votes will be split evenly with NC Dance Theatre and the purchaser’s favorite Star’s chosen non-profit. Last year the gala grossed over $350,000 with almost $75,000 going to support charities. 

Click here to meet this year's contestants and watch video of them in action.


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