Press Release: YA Announces Four Community Leaders that will Dance for the Arts at Dazzle: Mad Hot Ballroom Bal Masqué




 Denyce Mylson

Director of Public Relations & Marketing

Young Audiences Arts for Learning

609-243-9000 x202

[email protected]


A Gala Like No Other!

Young Audiences’ Announces Four Community Leaders that will Dance for the Arts at Dazzle: Mad Hot Ballroom on April 4th in Princeton

Popular dancing for the arts gala supports arts education for children throughout the region

PRINCETON, NJ; February 12, 2020— Back by popular demand, Dazzle: Mad Hot Ballroom – Bal Masqué will be held on Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 6pm-11pm at the Princeton Hyatt and will benefit Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ & Eastern PA. This year’s event is a masquerade theme and will include Young Audiences’ version of a “Dancing With The Stars” Competition, performances by children working with YA teaching artists, and a chance to win a NYC Getaway for two that includes a private tour of the MET, tickets to the NYC Ballet, and tickets and a backstage experience to see Hamilton on Broadway.

Dazzle is modeled after the reality television program “Dancing with the Stars” and will feature local community leaders as the “Stars.” Each dancer teams up with a professional from Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Princeton where they take lessons for 3 months to prepare for their Dazzle debut and compete for votes to win the coveted YA Disco Ball Trophy.

This year’s Stars are Tanuja Dehne (The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, President & CEO) Joseph Fruscione (The Fruscione Company, L.L.C., Managing Member), Brenda Ross-Dulan (The Ross Dulan Group, Principal), and Steve Shueh (Roundview Capital, Managing Partner)

“Each dancer has a personal connection to the power of the arts and their community and Young Audiences is honored to have these four dedicated and courageous advocates working on and off the dance floor to help bring arts-rich experiences to all children in our region,” shared Stacy Mattia, Young Audiences’ trustee and Dazzle co-chair.

“I’ve wanted to be a Dazzle Dancer ever since I attended my first Dazzle.  But now that it’s real, my WHY is much more personal.  I want my mom to see me dance again on stage for the first time in 30 years.  My mom worked so hard to pay for my dance lessons and drove me all over the Northeast on weekends and evenings to make sure I made it to every class and rehearsal. All children should have the opportunity to be inspired by the arts and YA is on a mission to do just that.  So, I dance for my mom and Young Audiences and all those who inspire young people to expand their learning through the arts,” said Tanuja Dehne.

Joseph Fruscione shared, “It is a pleasure to work with a group like YA that is enriching young lives through arts education. Raising a daughter whose life has been shaped by the arts aligns me very closely with YA’s mission. As someone who has experience in ballroom this event is a great opportunity for me to support YA, give something back to support arts education, and have a great time performing at the same time.”

Brenda Ross-Dulan expressed, “Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Well, this is my one thing. It is fearfully wonderful to support Young Audiences as a Dazzle contestant.”

“I was excited to support YA when I first learned about their mission to empower and educate through the arts. I never imagined that my support would entail dancing in front of friends, family, and total strangers! In addition to helping YA, I’ll now learn a few new dance moves that should impress (and maybe embarrass) my wife and three kids,” said Stephen Shueh.

Another highlight of the evening will be performances by students from PS 27 in Jersey City who will take the stage and perform dances inspired by Puerto Rican Folklore that they learned through a Dance to Learn residency with YA Teaching Artist Nanette Hernandez.

“Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center (SQFC) and the Alfred E. Zampella Elementary School (PS 27) are honored and excited to present the students of the Dance to Learn Program at Dazzle. Our 2nd grade students enjoy exploring the dance and music traditions of Puerto Rico’s Folklore called Plena. They are passionate, motivated, and welcoming of this extraordinary learning in the arts program. They love the movement, the instruments, and sharing their new-found knowledge,” shared Nanette Hernandez.

The night features a Fund-a-Need paddle auction. Funds raised support YA’s Scholarships, designed to bring extraordinary arts programs, delivered by YA’s team of professional teaching artists, to children who attend underfunded schools. Each customized program is developed to maximize students’ experiences with quality arts and to help students understand the cultural importance of the arts and creativity.

Young Audiences’ trustee and Dazzle 2016 dance competition winner Stacy Mattia is the gala co-chair working with committee members Jeannine Cimino, Barbara Coe, Cary Dawson, Liz Fillo, Janice Gross, Katie Hughes Redmond, Everett Kline, Ferris Olin, David Wald, and Sharon White. Dazzle professional dancers include Princeton’s Fred Astaire Dance Studio instructors Tara Fanzo, Juan Ramirez, Lupita Martinez, and Irvin Zavala Verdugo.

“Dazzle is truly a feel-good event, and we hope that anyone who feels passionately about the arts and children will join us for a great evening,” shared Michele Russo, President & CEO of Young Audiences.  “Not only will people have a terrific time, they’ll leave knowing that they’ve helped to bring much-needed arts programming to children across the region.”

To purchase event tickets, Hamilton raffle tickets, and vote for your favorite dancer visit  Individual tickets start at $250 and are inclusive of cocktails and dinner.  Hamilton raffle tickets are $100 each and only 300 tickets are available. Those who can’t attend can still vote for their favorite dancer at $10 per vote to help earn the coveted YA Disco Ball Trophy.

Past Dazzle VIP dancers include:

2013 – Chris Dagget, Sue Evans, John McConaughy, and Denise Wood Darder*

2014 – Barbara Coe*, Jill Jachera, Chris Long, and Bobby Mascia

2015 – Katie Hughes Redmond, Tamera Matteo, Jeff Perlman*, and Bryce Thompson

2016 – Carol Cronheim, Dan Fatton, Stacy Mattia*, and Michele Minter

2017 – Joanne Canady-Brown, Lew Gantwerk, D.A. Graham, Mark Murphy, and Michele Siekerka*

2018 – Jeannine Cimino*, Carol Golden, Tom Sullivan, Jeffrey Vega

(* Denotes Dazzle Disco Ball Trophy Winner.)

Dazzle: Mad Hot Ballroom receives additional support from generous corporate sponsors, including The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, M&T Bank, Roundview Capital, Berkshire Bank, Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Princeton, NRG Energy, Inc., Faegre Drinker Biddle, Mathematica Policy Research, NJM Insurance Group, UBS Financial Services, Borden Perlman Insurance, and NJBIA.

For corporate sponsorship opportunities, to receive an invitation, or to vote for your favorite dancer, please contact Denyce Mylson at [email protected] or 609-243-9000 x202.

Photo Caption: Dazzle Mad Hot Ballroom Reveals VIP Dancers at a recent Meet & Greet event at Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Princeton. From Left to right: Tanuja Dehne, Irvin Zavala Verdugo, Lupita Martinez, Stephen Shueh, Brenda Ross-Dulan, Juan Ramirez, Tara Fanzo, and Joseph Fruscione.

Additional photos available upon request.


About Young Audiences Arts for Learning

Founded in 1973, Young Audiences Arts for Learning NJ & Eastern PA is the premier arts education partner in the region, collaborating to provide high-quality performances and artist-in-residence programs to schools in all 21 counties of New Jersey and the 7 easternmost counties of Pennsylvania. Young Audiences’ extensive professional teaching artists represent all art forms—from dance and theater to music, language, and visual arts. YA programs are designed to be child-centered, outcome driven, and effective, providing children with the opportunity to experience quality art; understand the art form and its cultural context; create their own original art; and connect art to their own life and learning. Since its founding, the organization has reached over 15 million children with essential arts education experiences.

A not-for-profit organization, Young Audiences’ mission is to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts. YA’s programs are accessible to all socio-economic, ethnic, cultural, and geographic communities, and are designed to strengthen the arts in schools, meet local and state curriculum standards, involve families in arts activities, and enrich cultural life in New Jersey and Pennsylvania communities.


Young Audiences is the first arts education organization designated as a major service organization by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and, as part of the national network of Young Audiences, Inc., was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Young Audiences programs are made possible in part through a grant from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State and Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. Additional funding comes from foundations, corporations and generous individuals. To learn more, visit To be “social” with us, join us on Facebook, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @yaaflorg.