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CAA's Dancing for the Stars 2022 Fundraiser Announces Winners

Friday, July 8, 2022

Sebastian Castillo and Dance Pro Doreen Beatrice
Crowned New Dancing for the Stars Champs
Bret Schneider honored as Fundraising Champion

[CINCINNATI, OH] – Sebastian Castillo (General Manager, Prime Cincinnati) and his dance pro Doreen Beatrice (Independent Dance Instructor) received a perfect score of 30, taking first place at the Cincinnati Arts Association’s fourteenth annual Dancing for the Stars on Saturday, June 18, 2022 at the Music Hall Ballroom. Bret Schneider (CEO & President, WOW Windowboxes) took home the Fundraising Champion Award, as the celebrity who raised the most money for the event through ticket sales and donations – nearly $20,000.
Elizabeth Knuppel (President, Skystone Partners) and Josh Tilford (Independent Dance Instructor) took second place, and Jill Jansen (Director of Government & External Relations, Mercy Health) and Jozsef Parragh (Independent Dance Instructor) placed third.
The popular event – on hiatus since 2019 due to the pandemic – welcomed 475 guests. As CAA’s largest annual fundraiser, it raised more than $85,000 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 three dance pairs included:   

  • Jon Lawhead (Senior Vice President, Sinclair Broadcast Group – LOCAL 12 WKRC-TV) and Maura Garuccio (Independent Dance Instructor)
  • Sara Mirus (Real Estate Agent, eXp Realty) and Jeremy Mainous (Arthur Murray Dance Studio – Cincinnati)
  • Bret Schneider (CEO & President, WOW Windowboxes) and Bonita Brockert (Independent Dance Instructor)
Inspired by the hit TV show Dancing with the Stars, Dancing for the Stars 2022 featured six 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 the Foxtrot, and each dance pair had 90 seconds to woo the crowd and the judges. 
Event emcees were Amanda Orlando (Morning Show host, WARM 98.5) and Bob Herzog (morning anchor, LOCAL 12 WKRC and Dancing for the Stars 2013 alum). The competition judges were Michael Betz (Dancing for the Stars 2019 Fundraising Champion), Terry Foster (Dancing for the Stars 2010 alum), and Amy Tobin (Dancing for the Stars 2017 alum).
In addition, Dancing for the Stars 2022 featured:
  • Bourbon & wine tasting (compliments of New Riff Distillery and Ohio Valley Wines) during a meet-and-greet reception with the stars and the pros before the competition
  • Dinner-by-the-bite provided by A Catered Affair, Garnish Catering, Jeff Thomas Catering, Julia’s Catering, Prime Cincinnati, Sebastian’s Bakehouse, Southern Grace Catering, Skyline Chili, Street City Pub, Vonderhaar’s Catering
·       Dance music by popular DJ and 103.5 WGRR personality JD Hughes
  • Open dancing before and after the competition
Event highlights included:
  • 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 2020 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.
  • Lots of laughs and fun from the evenings entertaining emcee’s – Amanda Orlando and Bob Herzog.
  • Exceptionally responsive, raucous, and energetic audience reactions, which included large cheering sections holding signs with various messages in support of their favorite Stars.
  • The evening’s champs – Prime Cincinnati’s Sebastian Castillo and his dance pro Doreen Beatrice – earned one of the competition’s two perfect scores of 30 with a routine that was filled with personality and well-executed dance moves. The deafening response from their large group of supportive family and friends gave them the edge and the win. The pair danced to “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond – “So Good, So Good, So Good!” 
  • Wearing a sparkling 1920’s-era flapper dress, second-place finisher Elizabeth Knuppel delivered a very polished Foxtrot with her pro Josh Tilford that included beautiful lifts and fun Charleston steps. The pair danced to “All About That Bass” by Postmodern Jukebox and received the only other perfect score of the night.
  • Looking beautiful in a floor-length pink evening gown with a starburst design, Jill Jansen sparkled in an elegant Foxtrot with her dance pro Jozsef Parragh as they danced to “I’m Shakin’” by The Brooklyn Boogaloo Blowout.
  • Real Estate Agent Sara Mirus transformed into a pretty-in-pink Material Girl as she danced with her ever-smiling pro Jeremy Mainous to Madonna’s “Material Girl.” Near the end of the dance there was an explosion of faux $100 bills to the surprise of the crowd.
  • LOCAL 12’s Jon Lawhead – dressed as Michael Jackson with the iconic single white glove, white socks, embroidered jacket, hat, and sunglasses – wowed the audience with his dance moves (and drum playing).  He and his pro Maura Garuccio danced to Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.”
  • Fundraising Champ Bret Schneider and his pro Bonita Brockert performed a crowd-pleasing series of dips, kicks, and turns to Barry Manilow’s version of “Dancing in the Dark.”
Dancing for the Stars 2022 Presenting Sponsor: TriHealth
Dancing for the Stars 2022 Event Sponsors: Arthur Murray – Cincinnati, Doreen Beatrice, Bonita Brockert, Maura Garuccio, Graphic Village, Jozsef Parragh, Punky’s Pixels, Josh Tilford
Dancing for the Stars 2022 Libations Sponsors:  Heidelberg Distributing, New Riff Distillery, Pepsi
Dancing for the Stars 2022 Event Committee:  Amal Daoud, Terry Foster, Ginger Loftin, Rosemary Schlachter, Phil Schworer, 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 26th year, the Overture Awards has granted over $950,000 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).
Founded in 1992, the Cincinnati Arts Association (CAA) is a not-for-profit organization that oversees the programming and management of the Tri-state’s finest performing arts venues – the Aronoff Center for the Arts and Music Hall – and is dedicated to supporting performing and visual arts. Each year, CAA presents a diverse schedule of events; serves upwards of 700,000 people in its venues; features the work of talented local, regional, and national artists in the Weston Art Gallery (located in the Aronoff Center); and supports the work of more than one dozen resident companies.

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