Notable Chicagoans To Take the Dance Floor with Giordano Dance Stars in 2016 Gala Competition

Giordano Dance Chicago in Feelin’ Good Sweet (2014), a Broadway-inspired full company work choreographed by award-winning choreographer Ray Leeper (So You Think You Can Dance / America’s Got Talent).

Tonight, from 7 to 11 p.m., Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC) will hosts its wonderfully popular 11th “Dancing With The Giordano Stars” ballroom dance competition to benefit GDC and its educational outreach programs at Chicago’s Park West (322 W. Armitage Ave.). The annual event, patterned after the hit ABC series "Dancing With The Stars,” teams GDC professional dancers and their partners from the who’s who of Chicago’s civic, social and business communities to vie for “Best Male Dancer” and “Best Female Dancer” honors before a panel of celebrity judges.

The evening, emceed by Windy City Live’s Ji Suk Yi, will begin at 7 p.m. with spirits and light fare, followed by the popular competition. As part of the competition, each couple will perform a compulsory Foxtrot and a dance of their choice, such as Cha Cha, Swing, Rumba, Salsa or Tango. Judges for the competition will include Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s artistic director, Glenn Edgerton; David Manilow, creator and executive producer of WTTW’s Check Please; and WFLD’s Corey McPherrin and Kathleen Henson, founder and CEO of Henson Consulting. Open dancing for all guests will complete the evening.

​This year’s contestants and their GDC dance partners include Chris D’hondt, senior managing director for Accenture (with Ashley Downs) and Anne Burke Illinois Supreme Court Justice (with Zachary Heller).   

Now entering its 54th year, GDC is one of the longest running professional dance companies in Chicago and one of very few dance companies in the U.S. to have achieved this milestone. Currently under the leadership of Nan Giordano, artistic director for the company, and Michael McStraw, GDC executive director, the world-class troupe has long been a driving force in Chicago’s vibrant performing arts community. In addition to an innovative and expansive repertoire and an incredibly demanding performance schedule, the company’s innovative outreach program, Jazz Dance/Science & Health, reaches more than 400 CPS students in three neighborhood locations each year. Likewise, the Nan Giordano Certification Program SM offers certification world-wide to professional dance educators in the proprietary and foundational Giordano Technique, created by the company’s founder, Gus Giordano. Gala proceeds will support these and other programming and initiatives for the coming season.

For more information about the upcoming Dancing With the Giordano Dance Stars gala or GDC programming and initiatives, call 312.922.1332 or visit