Dogwood After Dark, the kick-off party for the Dogwood Arts Festival, drew more than 300 guests who were advised to wear their dancing shoes. This year the festive party, which focuses on a different art form each year, celebrated the art of dance. WBIR-TV’s Erin Donovan greeted the crowd from inside a rolling drink table wearing a tall pink wig festooned with blossoms. Local dancers performed under a spotlight on the floor of the Great Hall of the Knoxville Museum of Art as well as on a smaller lighted stage. Along with the dances, guests enjoyed dance-themed appetizers from Holly’s Eventful Dining and the event’s signature beverage, the Dogwood Dazzle, which was served by the Pour Guys along with wine donated by B T Distributing and beer donated by Cherokee Distributing. Other sponsors were All Occasions Party Rentals, Bandit Lites and Land Rover of Knoxville.
Dancers included Lucia Andronescu, who danced the flamenco in a red dress weighing 35 pounds; Caroline Rempe, Jason Harris, Jonathan Carlomagno, Jenna Knox, Keith Moore, Stephanie Weir, James Trater and Rebecca Huet from the Knoxville Swing Dance Association; Josh Beach, Meg Beach and Jamie Webster from Beach Dance Association did a spoken word performance, which included singing by Jodie Manross; Sam Gordon and Kisa Abbott, from GO Dance Knoxville, did the cha-cha with energy, and Bill and Connie Healy represented the Knoxville Argentine Tango Society with an enchanting tango. The tempo went up a notch with the arrival of Champale Denise, who captivated the crowd as a Whitney Houston look-alike singing “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” and making good on the song’s title by selecting a few dance partners from those standing around the dance floor. A remake of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” complete with the red-jacketed one and his companion, played by Greg Carney and Andrea Borja, and a group of zombies got everyone in the mood for the evening’s finale, dancing to the sounds of King Super and the Excellents.
Among the guests were Dogwood Arts Festival’s Executive Director Lisa Duncan and husband Dan, this year’s Festival co-chairs, Mickey Mallonee and Hallerin Hilton Hill, as
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