Category Archives: Seattle Dances

Seattle Dances 2011!

Ken Hatch & Elisabeth Bodal

What a difference a year makes!  Last night Ken and I attended the Second Annual Plymouth Housing Group fundraiser, Seattle Dances.  It was a first-class, well-managed fundraiser that raised over $410,000 which included sponsorships, ticket sales, an auction, cyber votes for dancers, a raise the paddle segment and peoples’ choice votes for dancers.  Last year at this time, I was concerned about all of these details since I was one of the featured dancers (see last year’s blog post HERE), but this year it was so stress-free to attend and just enjoy the party and admire the great job done by all the featured dancers! 

Ken Hatch & Gerg Lill

Patti Payne once again did a masterful job as the emcee.  Hallie Kuperman and The Century Ballroom once again partnered on the production of this extraordinary event.  Last year’s Cyber-Choice winner Michelle Barnett and I, as the Peoples’ Choice winner, were invited back to announce the winners this year.  Colette Courtion, last year’s Artistic Choice winner, was back to announce the new Artistic Choice winner and to reprise her role as Lady GaGa.

Carol & Buster Brown

The dancers were all truly amazing and I was so impressed with their level of competence and performance skills! I personally thought Stacy Lill and Marcelo Garces were incredible with all their featured lifts, flips and drops.  My other favorites included Dean Jones, Chad McKay and Leigh Canlis, who all danced with skill and “attitude”.  But honestly, every single dancer was a standout and can be very proud of the performance he or she brought to the audience! 
Each dancer had a cheering squad of friends and family complete with props such as feather boas, lighted wands, oversize posters, pom poms, cow bells, etc.  Greg Lill supplied copious amounts of DeLille Cellars wine for our table which was appreciated by all attending. 
Jay & Sharon Ballantine

Following the competition, Michelle announced the Cyber-Choice winner was Doug Ito who danced with Lera Thompson, I announced the Peoples’ Choice winner was Stacy Lill who danced with Marcelo Garces and Colette announced the Artistic Choice winner was Susan Slater Cotter.

Vladlina Fulton & Cathi Hatch

 It was such a high-energy, fun event that I thoroughly enjoyed attending as a spectator this year!  Congratulations to all the participants and all the winners!

Ken Hatch & Sheila Otter
The 2011 Seattle Dancer Dancers

Women of Valor

Ken & Cathi Hatch, Fredda & Steven Goldfarb

Yesterday, I was one of 11 women honored as a “Woman of Valor” by U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell at a large luncheon at the Westin Hotel SeattleSenator Cantwell read a brief background about each honoree individually and presented each of us with a crystal award engraved with our names and area of recognition and “Women of Valor Awards 2011”.  My award was for excellence in the field of Small Business Development.

Ken and I attended the luncheon and sat at a table with fellow honoree, Fredda Goldfarb and husband, Steven along with Betty Lou Treiger, Patti Savoy, Dana Frank, Debra Doran and Susan Arksey.  Fredda’s award was for excellence in the field of Veterans’ Advocacy.  Other friends attending the luncheon that I saw were Janet Levinger and Will Poole, Dan Rosen, Pat McDonald, Gary Gayton and Karen Gamoran, who originally called me about the award.

Patti Savoy, Cathi Hatch, Dana Frank

 Other “Women of Valor” honorees included Janis Avery for Children & Youth Advocacy, Martha Choe for Trailblazer, Kathy Fletcher for Environment & Conservation, Patricia Shepherd-Barnes and Dr. Beti Thompson for Health Advocacy, Marilyn J. Smith for Women’s Advocacy, and Megan Karch, Alma Franulovic Plancich and Estela Ortega for Public Service & Community Development,

U.S. Senator Patty Murray kicked off the luncheon and talked about the exciting win for Boeing with the tanker decision that had just been announced the previous day.  The luncheon was also a fundraiser for Senator Cantwell’s re-election campaign and following the awards, the featured speaker was U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski for Maryland.  She is the longest serving female U.S. Senator.  Senator Mikulski is a 4’11” dynamo that is a riveting speaker and regardless of political leaning was completely entertaining to everyone attending.

Ken Hatch & Debra Doran

When I arrived home following the award luncheon, I had to move my Seattle Dances! mirror ball trophy to the side to make room for my new “Woman of Valor” trophy!  What a nice problem!

Salsa Dance Lessons Reward

Following our Beginning Salsa I class at Century Ballroom on Monday evening, JJ McKay and Steve & Fredda Goldfarb and I visited Molly Moon for an ice cream treat to reward ourselves after a sweaty class of practicing four different right-hand turns.  We are having fun along with around 50 other people learning to dance the salsa.  Of course, Steve is a little (a lot?) ahead of the rest of us, since he danced the salsa in the Plymouth Housing Group Seattle Dances competition a couple of months ago!

Cathi and Marcelo win the Peoples’ Choice Award!

Oh! What a night! Last Saturday evening after months of preparation, I had the opportunity to participate in the new Plymouth Housing Group fundraiser, Seattle Dances! competition featuring local “celebrity” dancers paired with professional dancers. Though I had said “NO” five times before I finally said “YES”, I have to admit that it was so much fun learning this new dance and getting to know new friends in the local dance world. It turns out that all of the other non-professional dancers had a similar epiphany of realizing how much fun they were having learning a new skill and that we found ourselves devoting more and more time to the pursuit. The other non-professional dancers included Kathy Casey, Joyce Taylor, Steven Goldfarb, Michelle Foreman Barnet, Colette Courtion and Paul Lambros.
My dance partner, Marcelo Garces, is a master choreographer and created and taught me the Bachata, a salsa-style dance that comes from the Dominican Republic. He included many complicated steps and the piece de resistance was the “neck drop” where he would support my weight in a flat back-bend while stepping over me several times before letting me slide down his leg to his calf or ankle. He would then return me upright by using his leg to push me back to a standing position. It was quite a trick to learn and I landed on my behind many times during rehearsals. I found the best thing to do was just trust him to return me to a standing position and close my eyes until he did!
What a wonderful experience it was participating in this creative fundraising event! It was such a high-energy and exciting project. The staff of Plymouth Housing Group was amazing! They were unfazed to deal with multiple table seating changes, counting cyber votes and actual votes, and producing a brand-new event without a roadmap. No matter how many questions, concerns and suggestions we threw their way, everything was handled with aplomb by the staff and board leadership. And of course Hallie Kuperman, owner of Century Ballroom produced the dance portion of the event, selecting professional partners for each of the celebrity dancers and providing rehearsal space.
It is so rewarding to hear that that the goal of $350,000 was exceeded and approximately $410,000 was raised for Plymouth Housing Group. Many people supported the project by voting for the dancers at $25 per vote both before the event and during the event. I am eager to hear the final number results for both the Cyber Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award and get a list of all the donors that voted for me that I will want to thank for their support.
Of course I was thrilled that Marcelo and I won the “Peoples’ Choice” award and the sparkling mirror ball trophy is prominently displayed in my ZINO Society office so that I can brag about it frequently.
I will treasure the memories of the people and the activities associated with this incredible event.

We are winners at Seattle Dances Competition!

Last night was an amazing fundraising event at the Fremont Studios to benefit Plymouth Housing Group!  The event was “Seattle Dances” and was a sell-out with 450 people in attendance.  The venue looked spectacular with giant screens, bright pink and black table clothes and napkins and mirror balls everywhere!  The guests came early to participate in the silent auction and to sip the Kathy Casey Signature Cocktail – “The Lizzy Highfly”.  The guests in my cheering squad trailed blue feather boas throughout the party.
Once the guests sat down for dinner, a brief 19 item live auction was held prior to the big dance competition.  Meanwhile all the dancers put on their costumes and got ready with hair and makeup and mentally rehearsed their dances in their minds just one more time.  See photo above of Steve Goldfarb, Kathy Casey, Giuseppe Graziola, our costume designer, and me, photo of Colette Courtion practicing her “attitude” and photo of Joyce Taylor having her makeup applied.  The top photo is my dance partner, Marcelo Garces and me, hoping for success in capturing a mirror ball so we were practicing holding one in anticipation.  The bottom photo is of competitors, Paul Lambros and Steve Goldfarb with their partners, Deron Hayes and Alison Cockrill.   
When it was time to perform, Guest Emcee, Patti Payne, along with Century Ballroom’s Hallie Kuperman introduced us and our dances.  Michelle Foreman Barnet, riveting in a beautiful Tracy Gail red satin dress, was first onstage to dance the tango with her partner Greg Rolnick.  Next in skin-tight black spandex slacks and a see through black mesh shirt was Steve Goldfarb with his partner Alison Cockrill in a tiny black fringe two piece outfit, to dance the salsa and following him Kathy Casey, her hair in finger waves in a hot pink and black lace flapper dress dancing the Charleston with her partner, Joshua Welter.  Next Marcelo and I danced our Bachata, Marcelo wearing a turquoise shirt adorned with crystals and me in a dark blue and turquoise cocktail dress also sparkling with Swarvoski crystals designed and produced by costume designer, Giuseppe Graziola.  After working on the routine for a couple of months, it felt like our two minute dance was over in the blink of an eye.  Following us was Joyce Taylor doing the very high-energy Lindy Hop with her partner, Mark Kihara, and then Paul Lambros doing the West Coast Swing with his partner Deron Hayes.  One of the fun highlights of Paul’s dance was not only his dancing and his acting talents, but his quick de-frocking of his partner, Deron Hayes’ dress, leaving her in a sexy two –piece dance outfit.  The finale of the competition was Colette Courtion dressed in a very sexy black one-shoulder leotard with dance partners Ricki Mason and Tanya Harris sensuously performing the Beyonce Single Ladies’  Dance with attitude!
Following each performance came the part of the evening I was most worried about (after the dance piece!).  It was time for a “raise the paddle” to vote for each dancer individually and of course the votes were in the form of money being donated to Plymouth Housing Group.  I was worried that some of the dancers (me?) might be standing on the stage uncomfortably while no one voted and standing there would be excruciatingly embarrassing.  Fortunately, my concerns turned out not to be a factor at all.  The audience responded enthusiastically to all the dancers with plenty of votes for each!  When Marcelo and I were standing on the stage during this segment, I was astonished and gratified to see so many bid paddles raised voting for us!  I was overwhelmed with the amazing support we received from so many friends and acquaintances in the audience.  I kept blowing kisses to all the generous bidders for what seemed like an endless amount of time while people just kept bidding and bidding, many in chunks of $500 at a time.
Following this, the celebrity judges, Peter Boal, Nicole Vogel and Marco retired to deliberate on the winners while the amazingly talented young nine-year-old dancers from Everett, Erik and Rickie performed.  There was even another opportunity to raise a paddle to donate more to Plymouth Housing Group following their performance.
Finally the dance competitors filed back onstage to find out who would win the three mirror ball trophies.  Patti Payne provided color commentary (something for which I have just coined the name “Patti-Patter”) and  the winners were announced:
Cyber-Choice AwardMichelle Foreman Barnet
Peoples’ Choice AwardCathi Hatch
Artistic AwardColette Courtion
Of course, when Patti announced my name, Marcelo and I were thrilled and we held our mirror ball trophy high for all to see!  It was so fun to hear the four Hatch tables and the JP Morgan Chase table erupt in cheers and see blue feather boas waving furiously!
Though I know I have many additional people to thank in addition to those listed in this blog posting, I do want to thank the following people for attending the big event last evening and cheering me on:  First of all my husband, Ken Hatch, who not only attended, but also uncomplainingly stayed so I could dance in celebration into the wee hours of the morning; followed by Joan & Bob Cremin, Bonny & John Midby, Stacy & Dean Jones, Mike Kunath & Kate Harrison, Robin Brummet, Michelle Rubesch, Trudi & Dave Syferd, Toni & Rod Hoffman, Penny & Mick Thackeray, Arlene Wright and Beni Turan, Debe & Jeff Doran, Lynn & Frank Lindsay, Sue & Tom Raschella, JJ McKay, Pat Wallace, Rachel Garces, Spencer Kunath, Trisha Nerney, Delphine & Charles Stevens, Joanne & Ted Baseler, Micki & Bob Flowers, Supida Sanders, Ed Brennan, Katie & Kevin Laramore, and Alicia & Michael Hatch.  I know there were others in the room who cheered me on and voted for me as well but I don’t have all the names yet, but please do know that I so appreciate you too!
And of course another BIG thank you is offered to all the people who voted for me online prior to the event.  I know some of you voted both prior to and at the event and I appreciate every single one of you!  Thank you for your support of me personally and of Plymouth Housing Group.
But, now it is time to put ice on my Bachata inflamed knee and take a nap!    

It is almost here – Seattle Dances!

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to see the rest of the competitors who will be dancing in the Seattle Dances dance competition on Saturday evening. I was impressed with what each of the non-professional dancers has accomplished in getting ready for this big first-year fundraiser to benefit Plymouth Housing Group. Beautiful blonde Michelle Foreman Barnet,… Continue Reading

Yes, Dancing is Harder that it Appears!

Here I am with wet hair with my amazing Bachata dance partner, Marcelo Garces, following a hard dance workout including a difficult grapevine sequence expected to be danced at warp speed.  The second photo is of costume designer, Giuseppe Graziola and my dance style teacher, Naomi Scoggin.  It takes a village to help get ready… Continue Reading