Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre ups the ante with Pointe In Time Ball

| Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

I love this party, it makes me feel like a princess,” said Melissa Ferrari as she made her way into the ballroom of the Westin Convention Center hotel on Nov. 9. “People just really turn it up a notch.”

Indeed, the people were most definitely turning it up a notch. But it was the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre that completely upped the ante during its Pointe In Time Ball, a promise that came signed, sealed and delivered for 400 guests.

A Swan Lake Soiree began with a single, white-stem rose handed to each of the ladies as they floated into the ballroom, a reversal of fortunes that punctuated the evening from the start, rather than keeping the likes of Bill andVivian Benter, Melanie andJim Crockard, Peggy McKnight, Tim McVay andDavid Bush, Gabriela andDavid Porges, Richard Rauh, Carol Shriber andChuck Snyder, Becky andHerb Torbin, Carolyn andBill Byham, Tacy Byham, Colleen andDenny Travis, Winthrop andSigne Watson, artistic director Terrence Orr andMarianna Tcherkassky, and executive director Harris and Janet Ferris waiting till the end.

About that ballroom? Mt. Lebanon Floral and LUXE Lighting + Atmospheres joined forces to create a dreamy setting that drew a collective gasp; centerpieces of delicate white blooms surrounded by floating tea lights that seemed to glow under the muted spotlights. Once guests were settled, the company's dancers wooed with performances from “Swan Lake,” “Nine Sinatra Songs” and “In The Upper Room.” Truth be told, though, it was an unexpected appearance by the youngest members of the PBT School who danced their little hearts out and, in the process, stole everyone else's. Feeling inspired, most of the seats emptied onto the dance floor before the last plate was cleared thanks to the irresistible pull of Gary Racan and the studio-e band.

By eve's end, $438K had been raised, including a whopping $50K gift from chairs Bill andSandy Lambert to kickstart the new Children's Division Scholarship Initiative. The goal? To provide little ones between the ages of 5 and 8 who come from low-income homes with full dance scholarships and a chance to make their mark.

“Ballet can change the lives of young adults,” Bill Lambert said.

Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at kbenz@tribweb.com or 412-380-8515.

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