Taking Steps for History

Next month, several high-profile metro Detroiters will dance their way into history — in a manner of speaking
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From left: Carolyn Cassin; Evan Mountain, owner of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio, Rhonda Walker; Nikko Laudicina, an instructor at Fred Astaire; Monica Gayle and husband Dean Grevé // Photograph by Cybelle Codish

At the annual Detroit Historical Society Ball (Dec. 4, this year), brave and nimble-footed volunteers will participate in the local version of ABC’s popular Dancing With the Stars. It’s all in the name of raising funds for the Detroit Historical Society.

Guests attending the event at The Dearborn Inn are invited to vote on dance performances by placing money in tabletop urns named for each dancer. “The urn with the most money wins,” says Nancy Smith, last year’s winner and one of the event co-chairs this year.

The performances promise to be entertaining, in part, because contestants have access to training and choreography donated by The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Bloomfield Hills.

Carolyn Cassin will flaunt her footwork for the first time this year. “So many of the women in this community have done so much for me … they’re what help my organization survive, so I had to do my part,” says Cassin, president and CEO of the Michigan Women’s Foundation.

Fox 2 anchor Monica Gayle and her husband, Dean Grevé, will trip the light fantastic. And WDIV-TV anchor Rhonda Walker, last year’s runner-up, is a returning contestant. “It’s such a unique type of fundraiser and everyone rallies around and supports you,” Walker says. In return for voter support, dancers get the pleasure of supporting the Society.

Ticket information: detroithistorical.org.

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