Fourth Annual The BIG Dance turns the Meyerson into a Dance Party Carnaval for a Cause

(Featured image:The Scene.)**

Guests for Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s The BIG Dance came ready to party and the party met them at the door as they entered the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center on June 3, 2023. The lively music of the Mariachi Zacatecas serenaded them as they checked in and moved through the festive Latin décor and vibrant colors filling the lobby corridor.

Oversized large palms twinkled changing different colors, a Spanish Architecture-inspired backdrop was perfect for photo memories, and the walls were awash with light projections of florals. The transporting decor was all a reflection of the theme for the evening La vida es un carnaval! which translates into “Life is a carnival!” Honorary chairs Mr. Sam Santiago and Mr. Enrique G. Cobian and Co-chairs Ms. Sharon K. King and Mrs. Veronica Torres-Hazley planned the event.

Amanda Alvarez of Amanda Christina Salsa helped to get the dance party started, providing lessons in salsa and merengue. Dallas Black Dance Theatre dancers were on hand to help the guests practice their moves. Spotted on the dance floor learning the moves were Craig and Kathleen Davis, Michael and Misty Hoyt, Marianne and Kelly Lamont, Paul and Joan Ridley and Jay and Cristina Zertuche Wong.

The BIG Dance was an unforgettable night featuring live music from the premier Cuban style orchestra Havana NRG! They have traveled across the country and overseas in places like Japan and Italy and have released two CDs. The guests also partied to some high-energy dance music from the full-experience salsa band Fusión Latina that also plays merengue music. Spotted on the dance floor were Dr. Cordell Adams, Misaki Collins, Marissa and Michael Horne, Cheryl Richards, Alice Riggins and Richard Stevenson, and Susy Solis.

Spotted on the scene were Renita Brooks, Angela Chapman, Catherine Cuellar, Maria Espinosa, Ebonie Zan Jackson, Sara Martinez, Kim Noltemy, Sheena Payne, Martine Elyse Philippe, and Paulette Turner.

Culinaire International whipped up a Latin-inspired menu including Mini Tequila Lime Lobster Tacos, Red Snapper Ceviche, and Carne Asada and Pappas Con Chile.

Lauretta Strong Harmon, Willie Mae Hughey, Ann M. Williams, Ebonie Zan Jackson, William Hughey**

All proceeds will benefit the 49-year-old Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Academy, providing a 40% reduction in tuition fees for more than 300 students enrolled in their on-site academy training classes that take place in their historic Dallas Arts District facility. Funds also helps to support in-school dance residency programs for 2000+ students in 24 area DFW schools with student populations whose families are economically challenged and primarily Latino and Black. Since 2012, 100% of Dallas Black Dance Academy students have graduated from high school and attended college.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre dancers danced the night away alongside guests, celebrating the flair of Latin and Afro-Latin culture! The evening was brought to a close with a celebratory toast to mark the end of Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s 46th season and the highly anticipated announcement of next year’s BIG Dance theme: The Motown Sound!

For more details on Dallas Black Dance Theatre visit

*Photo credit: Sheena Payne

** Photo courtesy Dallas Black Dance Theatre

*** Photo credit: Kim Noltemy

**** Photo credit: Cassi G Photography

(This Philanthropy Lifestyles Scene sponsored by Dallas Black Dance Theatre.)


Principal of Philanthropy Lifestyles (formerly, the award-winning eBuzzNewsletter and Adams Communications Public Relations, a boutique PR firm specializing in media and community relations for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. Sharon is also a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Dallas Business Journal, Katy Trail Weekly, People Newspapers (Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People/North Dallas People), Preston Hollow Life magazine, The Park Cities News, White Rock Lake Weekly, numerous blogs and websites and more.