On Saturday, April 30, 2022, Areté Dance Center co-sponsored and hosted the "Rise Up Ukraine" Benefit Festival to raise money for Nova Ukraine, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine and raising awareness about Ukraine in the United States as well as in the rest of the world. Since the war started, Nova Ukraine has shifted their efforts to focus solely on humanitarian aid.
Together we raised
for Nova Ukraine!
Not only did we far surpass our goal of raising $15,000, but we're also currently the highest earning fundraiser on the CrowdChange website benefitting Nova Ukraine!
Food and Ukrainian Baked Goods by the Epicurean Group
Our dance student, Mary Clark-Bartlett, is the founder and CEO of the Epicurean Group, a locally-based catering company dedicated to sustainable dining. She and her team provided a simply amazing spread of food for all of our attendees - including an artisan cheese and charcuterie display, an American station, a Vietnamese station, and a dessert station featuring both traditional desserts as well as authentic Ukrainian baked goods!
Local fine wines were donated by Ridge Vineyards, Portola Vineyards, Scott Harvey Wines, Raeburn Winery, and Avalon Winery. Rosalee Norona of Pair Anything poured along with the Epicurean Group team.
Items valued at a total over $16,500 were graciously donated to our event's silent auction which was organized by Margie Suozzo.
Our studio was transformed by a wall of original art that was all available to be bid upon - including Corinne Landphere's painting "Rising Up" that was included in all of the marketing for the event. The auction also featured unique experiences, jewelry, gift baskets, and other items. Our personal favorite auction table was the Ukrainian baked goods station, including a beautiful handmade Korovai (Ukrainian wedding bread) alongside four Medoviks (Ukrainian honey cakes) baked by our student Oksana Prodan.
Viennese Waltz Demonstration by Olga Quincey & Yuriy Kuvshynov
The Viennese waltz was to the song "Тримай (Trymay)" by Ukrainian singer Khrystyna Soloviy, and the title means "hold on". It was performed by our student Olga Quincey and her teacher Yuriy Kuvshynov, both of whom are originally from Ukraine before moving to California. Olga will be performing this same Viennese waltz to the song "Trymay" at Areté Dance Center's annual spring showcase, which will be held on Saturday, May 21st at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge, this time accompanied by her amateur partner, Steve Pilkenton.
Hopak Lesson Taught by Amanda Janesick & Mark Scolieri
The Hopak is a Ukrainian folk dance originating as a male dance among the Cossacks, and it is now danced by a variety of male and female dancers both in partnered and solo pieces. The Hopak is often referred to as the national dance of Ukraine. The name "hopak" is derived from the Ukrainian verb hopaty (гопати) which means "to hop."
Live Music by The Song Gardeners
The Song Gardeners were founded in August 2019 by singer/songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Corrie Dunn and Mary Gospe. Their music is perfect to be accompanied by general social dancing, and our students and other event attendees seemed to have a great time hitting the dance floor themselves after getting warmed up with the Hopak.
Thanks Again to Our Sponsors!