Ballroom Dance Extravaganza Sweeps Us Off Our Feet
What a great way to start your Valentine’s Day weekend! The First Annual Ballroom Dance Extravaganza swept many romantic hearts on Saturday February 11, 2012 at Villa Rinta. It was an evening filled with entertainment, romance and dance and most importantly to benefit and raise awareness of the Children’s Defense Fund by Connie Kwan Wong Charitable Foundation.
This star studded evening was a sold out affair with glamorous ladies flaunting their evening gowns along side some of Houston’s finest professional dancers as well as amateurs competing in a ballroom dance competition, each of them exhibiting their best performance. However the crowd patiently waited for Riccardo Cocci and Yulia Zagoruychenko, Latin World Ballroom Dance Champions. The judges Miya Shay, Viet Hoang and Natalie Bomke most certainly had a tough time judging the dance competition. All the performers showcased their best performance but 10 year-old Ashley and 9 year-old Arielle stole our hearts with their mature and passionate dance moves.
The event was very efficiently organized with the support of Connie’s good friends Mandy Kao, the Wong Family, Kim Hardin, Christine Ho, Katya Dow, Isabel Farinha, and many other generous supporters. Connie Kwan Wong was born in Hong Kong but moved to Australia at the age of 11 and then to the United States when 21 and as a result of her experiences with different cultures, Connie is comfortable in communicating with people from all cultures. This sincere, honest and beautiful lady soon evolved a passion for giving back to the community and her foundation therefore strongly believes that “giving is better than receiving” and that we can all make a difference.
It was nice to witness this belief come true as Latin ballroom dance superstars, Riccardo Cocci and Yulia Zagoruychenko, agreed to travel to Houston and perform publicly for a worthy cause. The duo took the ballroom world by storm with their captivating moves and unique Latin style. They ascended to the finals of every major world championship and their mesmerizing look, incredible technical aptitude, and vivacious dynamism made them a favorite amongst audiences all around the world.
Guests enjoyed a scrumptious three course dinner and a dessert buffet while Riccardo Cocchi and Yulia Zagoruychenko’s grand finale performance made it very clear that this might be the very first annual dance event but it looks like a new tradition has just begun.
A Report By Ruchi Mukherjee
Photos by Melissa Chou Yan