Supporting our local community
I always look forward to the Fall for many different reasons. The cooler weather is nice, the changing of the leaves and of course, it represents that three of our biggest holidays are right around the corner. There is, however, another reason I like the fall, it is also the time that we organize two of our biggest community projects, our annual Costume Ball, known locally as the “Thriller” Ball and our Dancing for the Arts show.
Our local paper recently featured a nice article written by Lisa Thornton of the Cabarrus Arts Council, in which she talks about how our events have an effect in the community. Here is the article for your reading pleasure.
What do Chef Boyardee, the reigning Miss Concord and zombies have in common?
Nothing normally, except for this Friday, October, 28, when all three make their way to Positively Ballroom’s Costume Ball, an annual event nicknamed, the Thriller Ball, that raises donations for Cooperative Christian Ministry’s food pantry.
It’s an evening of dancing at the Cabarrus Country Club from 8-11 pm, with music provided by the Salisbury Swing Band held. Tickets cost $25, with a portion going to CCM. Guests are also encouraged to bring canned goods to stock CCM’s food pantry, which often runs low around the holidays.
The nickname, Thriller Ball, comes from the opening number – a group dance to the choreographed routine from Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
For weeks, Ryan Knight, owner of Positively Ballroom, has offered group lessons for anyone who wanted to learn the dance that first entranced the nation back in 1982. Marcie Trivette, who holds the current Miss Concord United States, was one of Knight’s students.
“The most challenging part of this has been the fact that I am in no way a dancer,” said Trivette. “However, Ryan has been awesome in working with me to make sure all of my steps are in sync with everyone else on the dance floor.”
Thriller group dances around this time have become common, thanks to Thrill the World, a global project that organizes simultaneous Thriller dances throughout the world at the exact same time. Often, the events are tied to a local charity. Thrill the World 2016 takes place October 29 at 10 pm. Visit ThrilltheWorld.com for more information.
For the last few years, Knight has selected Cooperative Christian Ministry to receive the donations from his Thriller event. Last year, attendees contributed 1,200 of food for CCM’s pantry. Donations like those, said CCM Development Director Glenn Love, are crucial to the organization.
“We rely tremendously on corporate groups, family businesses, government entities and a wide variety of civic groups all across Cabarrus County to donate to our food ministry,” said Love. “We could not do what we do without our remarkable community.”
Knight came to Cabarrus County in 2010, opening his dance studio on Union Street South that same year. Since then, he’s been an advocate for the community’s needs. Besides fundraisers for charities like CCM, his business, Positively Ballroom, also sponsors the Cabarrus Arts Council’s Dancing for the Arts, a fundraiser modeled after television’s Dancing for the Stars that pairs celebrities with professional dancers. For the last several months, Knight has worked with local celebrities, choreographing and rehearsing their numbers in preparation for the sold out November 12 show.
There are no strict guidelines for the Costume Ball this Friday, other than modest dress. Guests who attend aren’t required to participate in the Thriller dance number. In fact, they don’t even have to dance. They can just sit and enjoy the live band, said Knight.
They don’t have to dress as zombies or ghouls, either. Trivette is wearing a red gown along with her crown and sash, and adds that no one needs to be spooked by those dressed as zombies anyway.
“I’ve never met an uptight zombie,” she said. “All of my other fellow zombie dancers are very welcoming.”
Want to learn more about the Costume Ball? Visit PositivelyBallroom.com.