Host Richard Skipper, Tony Waag, Mary McCatty, DO40 prez John Sefakis, Mercedes Elllington, Sue Samuels and Susan Sigrist at the honorees table

DO40 began the Legacy Awards thirteen years ago to honor our own – our members’ contribution to dance and to DO40. We chose all women the first year; all men the second and then threw in a celeb honoree and a few honorary ones; and sadly, two posthumous awards as well. But now it has evolved into a delicious diversity of dance and social circles, a place for jazz and tap to meet, Broadway and Ballet, modern and ballroom all in the mix. We found friends crossed over their respective disciplines, and new bonds were forged. Lots of applause and some tears of joy. Happiness and a proud sense of being a dancer – and being with the people you love. And that’s what DO40 is all about. We are so proud to be able to bring together all these wonderful people and celebrate the diversity that is dance and the human spirit. (Well, that was a bit more lofty than we expected, but deep down it’s true.)

DO40 prez John Sefakis with 2021 Legacy Honorees Susan Sigrist, Tony Waag, Sue Samuels, Mary McCatty and Mercedes Ellington

Monday night we honored Mercedes Ellington, Mary McCatty, Sue Samuels, Susan Sigrist and Tony Waag. Host Richard Skipper enchanted the audience (with lies that the speakers could talk as long as they wanted!) and introduced performers Kizha Carr Adams and Brian Alejandro Scott as well. Almost 90 people attended the holiday dinner, an astonishing number considering the pandemic circumstances. Then again, we are all of the boosted vax age range, and of course, everyone in the room was checked and ID’d. The LIPS staff was as gracious and swift as always, our perennial coat check czar Cha Cha Lopez worked his magic, our blue-haired Carlos Acosta came to facilitate that internet-y iSquare youngster stuff needed to take charge cards and stalwarts Sharon Wendrow, Patrick McCarthy, Leni Anders and Sasha Spielvogel were all there to jump in when needed.

The room right before dinner

So many members and new friends were in attendance that it’s hard to recount them all – producer Ed Gaynes and wife Pam, Patti Mariano, Virginia Seidel, Lawrence Merritt, Lori Tan Chinn, Martha Warschau, Felicia Velasco D’Amico and husband, Maria Stevens, Karin Baker and husband Greg, Robert Sacheli up from DC, Karyn Tomczak, Lawrence Leritz, the “Phil Black kids” Thomas Adams, Leslie Riddle, and Alan Onickel, and the fabulously dressed and always sensational Darlene Larson, a Ziegfeld girl to the core, in a purple sequined dress and white faux fur!

Mercedes Ellington, niece Alix, Lawrence Leritz, Michael Stever and Tony Waag

A photo gallery of Legacy Award pics will be up soon on our website, and video of the event will be posted on our member-only page of the website before Christmas – one of the great perks of being a card-carrying, dues-paying DO40 member!

Speaker Lori Tan Chinn, Susan Sigrist and friends

Thank you all for your continued support to DO40. We have already broken our membership record for both 2019 and 2020, and it’s only December (our membership season ends in June)! Up next, a virtual DO40 membership meeting in February and announcement of our big events for 2022! We can’t believe it’s going to be 2022! We will celebrate 30 years as an organization in 2024!!! Hopefully, the next generation(s), who were so well represented at the Legacy Awards, will step up to the dance plate to continue and promote our History, our Legacy and our Lives.

Members Only Videos Are Here!

2021 Legacy Awards Photos

Photo By Jeff Eason, Wilsonmodels, Inc