Chicago's Elite to Don Their Dancing Shoes for Giordano Dance Benefit 

Pictured L-R: GDC dancers (standing) Cesar G. Salinas, Linea Stureson, Katie Rafferty, Zachary Heller, Maeghan McHale, Adam Houston, Jacob Frazier, Devin Buchanan, Arielle Israel,  Natalie Overturff Denny,  Ryan Galloway, Ashley Downs, Joeseph Nicastro. Pictured L-R: GDTGS contestants (sitting) Christine D’hondt, John Simpson, Jeff Shea, Annette Gonzalez, Jonathon Wells, Karen Stefani, Dr. Stacie McClane, Sheri Passalino, Mark Brown, Jeffrey Cohen, Olivia Sarnecki, Ed Burke and Mary Tolan. Photo by Alyce Henson Photography.

Chicago Alderman Ed Burke, Surgeon Stacie McClane, M.D. and 11 more members of the Who’s Who of Chicago’s civic, social and business communities will put on their dancing shoes this fall to compete for the “Best Male Dancer” and “Best Female Dancer” crowns in the annual Giordano Dance Chicago (GDC) “Dancing With The Giordano Stars” benefit. The benefit performance/competition will take place on October 5 at Chicago’s Park West (322 W. Armitage Ave.)in Lincoln Park. Proceeds will benefit GDC and its educational outreach programs. The annual event patterned after the hit ABC series Dancing With The Stars teams GDC professional dancers with partners from Chicago’s most prominent civic, social and business elite.

The evening will begin at 7 p.m. with spirits and light fare, followed by the 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 this year’s competition will include Chicago Tribune columnist Candace Jordan, Dan Uslan, President and Publisher of Michigan Avenue Magazine and the Joffrey’s artistic director, Ashley Wheater. Open dancing for all guests completes the evening.

“Our annual ‘Dancing With The Giordano Stars’ benefit competition has developed a strong reputation as one of the liveliest fundraisers of the season and we’re thrilled to have 13 competitors join us for this year’s event, the most we’ve ever had,” says GDC artistic director Nan Giordano.

The male contestants (and their GDC dance partners) are Chicago-based lifestyle photographer Mark Brown (with Arielle Israel), 14th Ward Chicago Alderman Ed Burke (with Ashley Downs), Equity, Debt & Structured Finance Group at Cushman & Wakefield Director Jeffrey Cohen (with Natasha Overturff Denny), Jeff Shea, CEO and Co-Founder of Payline (with Katie Rafferty), John Simpson, partner with Broadhaven Capital Partners (with Linnea Stureson) and Jonathon Wells, Principal Designer at Gregory Jordan Interiors LLC (with Maeghan McHale).

The female contestants (and their GDC dance partners) are Christine D'hondt, former consultant with Protiviti Risk Management Consulting (with Cesar G. Salinas), Annette Gonzalez, strategic accounts manager for Christopher Glass and Aluminum (with Zachary Heller), Dr. Stacie McClane of the Chicago Plastic Surgery Center (with Jacob Frazier), arts philanthropist Sheri Passalino (with Devin Buchanan), Olivia Sarnecki, Manager of the Cushman & Wakefield Education Practice Group (with Ryan Galloway), Karen Stefani, owner and operator of INSPIRED Catering & Events (with Adam Houston) and healthcare entrepreneur Mary Tolan of Chicago Pacific Founders (with Joseph Nicastro).

​A limited number of balcony stools ($150-$200) and corporate tables ($5,000) are available for the event. For tickets or more information, visit or call 312.922.1332.