Gala to benefit North Las Vegas Ballet Theater to put hometown spin on ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Ever wanted to see the political stars of North Las Vegas perform on stage?

In a mock-up of the hit TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” the North Las Vegas Ballet Theater plans to present “Dancing with the North Las Vegas Stars Gala” at 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Aliante, 7300 Aliante Parkway.

“I was trying to think of a fun and creative way to raise money for our students, and I thought it would be great to get our local community members involved,” said Bernadette Sanders, founder of the North Las Vegas Ballet Theater. “Everyone I spoke to was very excited and supportive of this event. It’s going to be a fun night.”

Money raised will go toward providing scholarships to students and buying costumes and supplies for the school’s students and junior ballet ensemble.

A group of dancers ages 6 to 10 are set to perform as well as be judges for the event.

“I’m super excited for the event because I get to show everyone my talents,” said Renata Tripp, 9. “We want to do this fundraiser for people to get us better money to buy things we need for the studio.”

“Ballet is really fun because it’s so graceful and it makes you challenge yourself,” added Maya Pagan, 10. “I think people will really enjoy seeing us dancing.”

North Las Vegas Ward 4 Councilman Richard Cherchio, JJ Snyder and Shawn Tempesta of KTNV Channel 13’s “The Morning Blend,” Senate District 1 candidate Arsen Ter-Petrosyan, State Assembly Candidate Ron Newsome, and Clark County Commissioner candidate Anthony Osnaya are set to star in the event. A special guest appearance is also planned by Canadian actress Tamara Duarte, who has starred in “Degrassi: The Next Generation” and “Longmire.”

“I don’t know which judge I’ll be replicating, but I hope I’m not the old one,” Cherchio said laughing. “I know I’m going to have to score them like they do on the show, but it’s going to be hard because they’re all so cute. I’m just really happy to be able to help out. Bernadette provides a great service to our youth.”

Most of the stars will be doing salsa and ballroom dancing, according to Sanders. A few dancers are set to dance with parents from the school while Snyder and Tempesta plan a comedic performance.

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee had to cancel his performance due to a last-minute trip, but expressed his support for the event.

“This is such a creative and fun way to raise money for a wonderful cause — scholarships for dancers in our community,” he said. “We are thrilled that North Las Vegas Ballet Theater has chosen our city as its home and is bringing arts education to children from across the valley. I wanted to dance with them, but wasn’t able to do it this year. Next year I will.”

Sanders opened the school at 205 W. Centennial Parkway, No. 120, in August 2015.

As a professional dancer of more than 26 years, Sanders was trained in classical ballet at the Olympic Ballet Theatre and School in Edmonds, Wash.; the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet, both in Washington, D.C.; the Maryland Youth Ballet in Silver Spring, Md.; and in New York City at Steps on Broadway, David Howard at Broadway Dance Center and the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s pre-professional program.

The school’s classes include Dancing with Mommy, Dance Me A Story, creative movement, pre-ballet, ballet, jazz/hip-hop, modern dance, tap, and character dance .

Those who cannot make the event can sponsor student dancers online to help with their training, costumes and trips. Visit

Tickets for the gala are $75 or $700 for a table of 10, which includes dinner. A silent auction is also planned , which includes gifts from Spanish Trails Country Club, Sunbuggy, Natural Grocers, Sky Zone, the Aliante, Café Rio and Cardio Barre, among others .

“We want to continue providing cultural experiences for our community and give everyone a chance to learn the art of ballet,” Sanders said. “It’s so important for children to be a part of the arts. It not only helps them artistically, but socially, physically and educationally.”

Call 702-965-2071.

To reach North View reporter Sandy Lopez, email or call 702-383-4686. Find her on Twitter: @JournalismSandy

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