Last Saturday, eight local celebrities and their professional dance partners performed at the Dance With Your Heart Charity Gala, "A Night in Paris." Participants raised thousands of dollars for charities and non-profits of their choosing. One of the local celebrities involved was our own Janice Liebenberg, ArtsWave's Associate Director, Corporate Campaign & New Business.

Janice learned about the competition several years ago after her husband, Andy, participated in "Dancing for the Stars," a similar gala raising money for Cincinnati Arts Association's arts education programs. Andy's partner spent three years convincing Janice to participate in Dance With Your Heart's event before finally succeeding.

Janice's partner, Matt Simkus, was assigned to her and was, in her words, "very patient." When the commute from Over-the-Rhine to the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Montgomery caused a few late starts, they decided to practice in the ArtsWave office. The most surprising part of the experience? "In dancing, there are rules!" Luckily, they didn't get in the way, and Janice had "so much fun" both preparing for and performing at the event

Janice Dancing

On the night of the gala at The Syndicate in Newport, KY, Janice performed a solo to Camila Cabello's "Havana" before her cha-cha with Matt to Pitbull's "Fun." The ardent cheers of her supporters nearly drowned out the music. At the end of the evening, when the final fundraising numbers were tallied, Janice came in third place with almost $4,000 raised for ArtsWave.

All of us at ArtsWave appreciate the hard work Janice put into both learning to dance and discovering an outside-the-box way of supporting ArtsWave and the 100+ organizations that make Greater Cincinnati amazing.