BR Ballet Theatre takes to streets for fundraiser

Dancin’ in the Streets set for Perkins Rowe Great Hall

Note to everyone: ballet is not a requirement.

True, Dancin’ in the Streets is Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s annual fundraiser. And yes, this event is in its fourth year.

But dancing preferences are left up to you.

Now, you could easily slide back into your high school or college dancing style from the 1960s. Or even the ’70s and ’80s, since Phat Hat specializes in dance music from these decades.

Then again, if you prefer to dance a few steps from the 1990s or early 2000s, go ahead. It’ll fit the music, the atmosphere, the party, as long as you’re having fun.

Because that’s really the only requirement at Dancin’ in the Streets, to have fun.

“Just remember to bring your dancing shoes,” Nicole Naquin said.

She’s the ballet theater’s development and communications director, and she’s seen the event grow in the last 4 years.

“It’s Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s only fundraiser for the year,” Naquin said. “And what’s new this year is that we’ve moved it from August to March.”

The ballet theater’s performance season begins in July and ends in June, so Dancin’ in the Streets originally was scheduled at the beginning of the season in August.

“But dancing outside in August in Louisiana is atrocious,” Naquin said. “Our patrons commented on that. It’s just too hot, so we’ve moved it to March for cooler weather.”

So, the time has changed, but the place is the same. Dancin’ in the Streets is set for 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, March 23, in the Perkins Rowe Great Hall. Tickets will include live entertainment, along with food and beverages provided by area restaurants.

“What’s really exciting is the increase in food vendors who ask to participate each year,” Naquin said.

On this year’s vendor roster are Bin 77 Bistro/Wine Bar; BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse; California Pizza Kitchen; Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United; Frankie Marcello’s Restaurant; Heineken USA; Kleinpeter Farms Dairy, Inc.; Kona Grill; Nothing Bundt Cakes; Paul Bologna Fine Wines; Raising Cane’s; Roy’s Ice; Texas de Brazil; The Kolache Kitchen; and VooDoo BBQ & Grill.

And then there’s the evening’s entertainment, provided by the aforementioned Phat Hat.

The group is a Baton Rouge-based, funk-soul band with the motto, “Where soul meets groove and makes you move.”

Which is the whole point of Dancin’ in the Streets, right? Dancing, moving.

The group states its mission on its website, http://phathatband.com: “Deep rhythm, and soulful goodness with a sound that will keep the dance floor rocking all night long.”

“Their repertoire is made for dancing,” Naquin said. “We’re excited to have them performing at Dancin’ in the Streets.”

Also, raffle tickets will be sold for a drawing during the event. Tickets are $10 and also are available in advance through the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre office.

First prize is a game day experience with the LSU Tiger Marching Band; second prize is a wine and food pairing for 10 at Mansurs on the Boulevard; third prize is a pair of his and hers Citizen Eco-Drive watches from Roy’s Jewelry Store; and fourth prize is a spa package from Medical Spa of Baton Rouge.

“We’ll also be acknowledging our volunteer of the year, and we’ll be recognizing some dancers,” Naquin said.

That is, Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre company dancers. But even they won’t be required to dance ballet steps at this fundraiser.

“We just want everyone who comes to have a good time,” Naquin said.

Dancin’ in the Streets is presented by Perkins Rowe, Louisiana Lottery, Deep South Crane and Rigging, Gerry Lane Cadillac, Presonus and RoyOMartin.

“Attendance has been steadily growing in the last four years, and we’re hoping the cooler weather makes it grow even more,” Naquin said. “Just remember that you don’t have to have ballet moves in your dance repertoire.”

Still, you’ll want to have a few moves of any style in your arsenal.

So you can join the crowd on Saturday as it dances in the street.