Scene & Heard: Alzheimer's Association’s Memory Ball

May 02, 2010|By Sloane Brown | Special to The Baltimore Sun

Most guests at the Alzheimer's Association's Memory Ball had to worry only about getting ready for the gala a few hours before, but there were more than a dozen who spent months in preparation. As part of the ball's "Dancing Stars" theme, contestants competed a la "Dancing With the Stars" in the ballroom at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel.

"She had all her friends in to watch her rehearse in different dresses and then tell her which dress worked best," Tim Rhode was telling friends about one of the competitors: his wife and fellow co-owner of the Maryland Athletic Club, Liz Rhode.

"This is the one they picked out," added Liz Rhode, as she shimmied in a mini dress with shiny fringe.

Meanwhile, John Dawson, StudioDNA owner, explained how he taught contestants Ray Mitchener and Chi Chi Bosworth to dance their number. "You can teach anyone the steps. But I wanted them to dance from the soul."

"She's my friend, " said contestant Debbie Gordon, pointing to Olympic ice skating legend Dorothy Hamill. "She convinced me to dance, and I'm still talking to her."

As the contest got under way, the formally dressed crowd hooted and hollered its enthusiasm for all the contestants as they did the waltz, rumba, salsa, a two-step swing and even a traditional Greek dance. Of course, everyone had their favorites.

"I'm a high-energy person, and Lorinda Belzberg's dance was high-energy," said Jon Kaplan, BMoreFit executive director.

"Didn't you just want to slide in between them and dance?" asked Jill Becker, community volunteer, as she and her husband, Eric Becker, senior managing director at Sterling Partners, gave Bosworth a post-dance hug.

Dance fever swept the crowd. "I've never seen a dance floor like that," said Judy Pressman, Arbonne International national vice president, as she looked at the crowd, packed elbow-to-elbow.

"This is the gala I've dreamed of. This was the year where there was buzz in the community. It has become a brand," said Cass Naugle, Alzheimer's Association executive director.

Sloane Brown may be contacted at sloane@sloanebrown.com.

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