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Dancing for the Stars 2023 Announces Winners

Britton Spitler as Brock Leah Spears (Project Manager, ADM) and Dance Pro Amanda Barraza Crowned New Dancing for the Stars Champs
Litsa Spanos honored as Fundraising Champion

[CINCINNATI, OH] – Britton Spitler as Brock Leah Spears (Project Manager – ADM) and dance pro Amanda Barraza (Independent Dance Instructor) received a nearly perfect score of 29, taking first place at the Cincinnati Arts Association’s fifteenth annual Dancing for the Stars on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at the Music Hall Ballroom. Litsa Spanos (President – ADC Art Design Consultants, Inc.) took home the Fundraising Champion Award, as the celebrity who raised the most money for the event through ticket sales and donations – nearly $12,000.
Morgan Owens (Entrepreneur, Author, Consultant, Speaker, and Brand Ambassador) and Josh Tilford (Independent Dance Instructor) took second place, and Fundraising Champ Litsa Spanos and Andrea Stefano (Independent Dance Instructor) placed third.
As CAA’s largest annual fundraiser, the popular annual event raised more than $70,000 in support of the organization’s acclaimed arts education programs, including the Overture Awards – the nation’s largest locally run high school arts scholarship competition.
The remaining five dance pairs included:   

  • David Kapor (Founder & Managing Partner – Kapor, Davis & Associates, LLC) and Bonita Brockert (Independent Dance Instructor)
  • Frank Marzullo (Meteorologist – FOX19 NOW) and Alaine Glick (Independent Dance Instructor)
  • Diana Nguyen (Owner – Deluxe Nail Salon & Spa) and Jeremy Mainous (Arthur Murray Dance Studio – Montgomery)
  • Tom Parker (Director of External Communications – Lindner Center of Hope) and Melissa Vaughn (Arthur Murray Dance Studio – Montgomery)
  • Erin Rolfes (Director of Communication & Media Relations – The Kroger Co.) and Rostislav Toporski (Independent Dance Instructor)
 Inspired by the hit TV show Dancing with the Stars, Dancing for the Stars 2023 featured eight Cincinnati celebrities paired with some of the area’s finest professional dancers in a competition program at which the audience vote and judges scores propelled the winners to victory. The competitive dance for the evening was Disco/Hustle, and each dance pair had 90 seconds to woo the crowd and the judges. 
Event emcees were Chris O’Brien & Janeen Coyle (“Married With Microphones,” 103.5 WGRR-FM). The competition judges were Douglas Beal (Independent Dance Instructor), Jon Lawhead (Dancing for the Stars 2022 alum), and Amanda Orlando (WARM 98.5 Morning Show host).
In addition, Dancing for the Stars 2023 featured:
  • Wine tasting (compliments of Heidelberg Distributing) during a meet-and-greet reception with the stars and the pros before the competition
  • Dinner-by-the-Bite provided by A Catered Affair, Metropolitan Club, Moerlein Lager House, Prime Cincinnati, Primo Italian Steakhouse, Skyline Chili, Street City Pub, That’s So Sweet, Vonderhaar’s Catering
  • Dance music by popular DJ and 103.5 WGRR personality JD Hughes
  • Open dancing before and after the competition
  • Entertaining and amazing exhibition dances by the Dancing for the Stars talented pros.
  • An inspiring video about the Overture Awards, featuring interviews with the six student winners of the 2023 Overture Awards finals competition.
  • Two big screens that featured live video of the competition and engaging video introductions of the stars and pros (interviews and rehearsal footage) before their dances.
  • Humorous, astute, and supportive comments from the Dancing for the Stars panel of judges.
  • Exceptionally responsive, raucous, and energetic audience reactions, which included large cheering sections holding signs with various messages in support of their favorite Stars.
  • Lots of flashy, retro, Disco outfits and big hair worn by the dance celebs and pros.
 Dance Pair Song Selections
  • Britton Spitler as Brock Leah Spears / Amanda Barraza: “Last Dance” by Donna Summer
  • Morgan Owens / Josh Tilford: “Bad Girls” by Donna Summer
  • Litsa Spanos / Andrea Stefano: “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees and N-Trance
  • David Kapor / Bonita Brockert: “Living With a Hernia” by “Weird Al” Yankovic
  • Frank Marzullo / Alaine Glick: “Car Wash” by Rose Royce
  • Diana Nguyen / Jeremy Mainous: “Barbie Girl” by Aqua
  • Tom Parker / Melissa Vaughn: “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
  • Erin Rolfes / Rostislav Toporski: “Le Freak” by Chic
 Presenting Sponsor: TriHealth
Event Sponsors: Arthur Murray – Montgomery, Amanda Barraza, Bonita Brockert, Alaine Glick, Harlan Graphics, Punky’s Pixels, Andrea Stefano, Josh Tilford, Rostislav Toporski
Libations Sponsors:  Heidelberg Distributing, Ohio Valley Wine & Beer, Pepsi
Event Committee:  Doreen Beatrice, Michael Betz, Amal Daoud, Terry Foster, Ginger Loftin, Rosemary Schlachter, Phil Schworer, and Dr. Tracey Skale
CAA's Education & Community Engagement Department cultivates diverse, inclusive, and accessible arts engagements, seeking to remove barriers preventing arts participation. Committed to a practice of antiracism, the Education and Community Engagement Department encourages the use of CAA venues, develops diverse arts supporters, and fosters an appreciation and understanding of diverse arts disciplines, while encouraging and supporting practicing arts educators and administrators, audiences, and aspiring artists.  
SchoolTime presents a series of programs that feature nationally recognized artists at the Aronoff Center and Music Hall. The Artists on Tour program brings a variety of arts experiences directly to schools, community centers, and other organizations. The finest local teaching artists in the region enhance learning with unique programs that vary in culture and art form.
The Arts in Healing Initiative integrates the performing and visual arts in medical and community healthcare settings and other non-traditional settings to promote community wellness and encourage the community to explore the arts as an active part of their healing and ongoing wellness.   
The Overture Awards is a program that recognizes and rewards excellence in the arts among Greater Cincinnati students in grades 9-12. Its mission is to encourage arts education as an integral part of a student’s academic experience and to create an environment that encourages training in, and appreciation of, the arts. The Overture Awards is the area’s largest solo arts competition and offers awards in six artistic disciplines: creative writing, dance, instrumental music, theatre, visual art, and vocal music.
Now in its 27th year, the Overture Awards has granted over nearly $1,000,000 to youth and schools in the Tri-state region. The Overture Awards was launched in 1996 by the Cinergy Foundation and Leadership Cincinnati (a Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber of Commerce program).

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