One of Austin’s most entertaining events, Dancing with the Stars Austin, returned on December 2nd for its 11 year raising awareness for the issues surrounding child abuse in our community. Dancing with the Stars entered its new decade with a variety of changes, including a new location at the JW Marriott Austin, new creative director Glenn Ball, and new emcees – Holly Mills-Gardner & Lance Avery Morgan – who brought both style and humor to the evening while keeping the program moving between performances.
Event chairs Francie Little & Jeanne Parker, along with presenting sponsor Lexus of Austin and Lakeway, gathered Austin’s most notable philanthropists who attended alongside the friends and fans of the eleven Austin Celebrity Dancers. The event drew an energetic crowd, who came prepared to make some noise for their favorite contestants.
The competition between celebrity dancers was fierce, and spanned all genres from Broadway to country music and dance. The second runner up, and winner of the Dancers Choice Award, was Tracey Marshall, who has been active in community service and philanthropy for over 25 years.
Although Tracey brought grace and energy to the stage, the winner of the evening was Javier Aguirre and his dance partner Azucena Perezi. Aguirre, fitness enthusiast and women’s health advocate, dazzled the crowd with his upbeat Justin Timberlake song choice and charming swagger, and left the competition with the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy.
The dance floor then opened up to the crowd with DJ Chicken George keeping the party going, but more impressive than the enthusiasm and energy in the room was the grand total of $1.6 million raised for the Center for Child Protection. This sum, $500,000 above last year, will allow the Center to continue its mission of reducing trauma for children during the investigation and persecution of crimes against children. After 11 years Dancing with the Stars continues its tradition of creating a memorable evening that generates a lasting, positive impact in our community.
Photographers include Haley Plotkin and Jeff Loftin.