Dance USA Opening Night Reception

On July 13, I had the distinct honor of serving as Chairman for the Opening Night Reception of Dance USA 2011 Annual Conference.

More than 400 dance enthusiasts attended the reception, held on the stage of the fabulous Harris Theater for Music and Dance. As Chairman of the event, I had the pleasure of welcoming our Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, to the stage to speak about the importance of dance and Chicago’s deep ties to this art form.

Since assuming office in May, Emanuel has been a vocal proponent of elevating Chicago's performing and visual arts community to even higher internationalrecognition. Mayor Emanuel has a strong dance background, having studied here in Chicago at the Joel Hall Dance Center and Sarah Lawrence College in New York.  During his remarks, he joked, "I just want you to know you're making one Jewish mother happy, I can finally tell her I made it to the stage of a dance performance. Thank you for that."

I couldn’t agree more, it was an amazing venue to celebrate dance and it was very special for me to be there and see the theater through the eyes of the so many talented performers who grace the stage throughout the year.

I’m a proud supporter of Dance USA’s continued work to advance professional dance and I am thrilled that our Mayor is working to provide resources to put Chicago on the map for professional dance and enhance the amazing talent we have right here in Chicago.