Any anniversary is special but when you hit a milestone year there’s a little extra magic. This year Capezio, one of the dance worlds most popular brands, celebrates 125 years in business. Wow, what an accomplishment! And even more impressive is, that like Gabie’s, Capezio too is a family business. It has now seen 5 generations run this company, pretty incredible.

To mark this special milestone a party was in order but just a plain party would not do, no, to celebrate this company properly, one that started as a small dance shop hand making dance shoes there would need to be dancing, a lot of dancing and that is certainly what we got. On April 23rd the New York City Center was filled with Capezio employees, store owners from around the world, dancers, and of course Capezio customers. Having carried the Capezio brand since we opened our doors over 30 years ago we were lucky enough to have been invited to attend this incredible event. We were so excited to be part of it all which only grew as we were ushered to our seats, third row orchestra! As 7 o’clock came the warning bell began to sound and people started filling into the theatre, a buzz of excitement in the air; everyone was excited for the evening to begin. The lights dimmed and the show began, kicking it all off New York’s iconic and Capezio Sponsored Rockettes, with a number we had seen them rehearsing the day before on a tour of Radio City. As always the Rockettes put on a great performance and we knew we were in for a magical night.

And then began what was to become one of my favourite numbers of the night, choreographed by none other than Mandy Moore. The curtain rose and the sweet sounds of a live band and singer came bellowing off the stage as the dancers began a slow, sultry walk upstage. After about a minute of great partnering work the band picked it up and the dancers kicked it into high gear as the lights changed and more and more dancers flooded the stage. Off go the girls and here come the guys showing they’ve got just as many moves. As with Capezio, this number was to offer more than one dance style and now it was time to show off the hip hop skills of the next dancer including none other than… TWITCH! And the crowd goes wild. Well we should have known Mandy Moore would have a few surprises up her sleeve little did we know another was quickly coming as a frumpy dressed lady with glasses seemingly stumbles onto the stage trying to find her own dance partner. As the dancers pair up we all feel bad for the one lonely dancer, who starts to look awfully familiar… because it’s Mandy Moore herself, and it looks as though she might have just found her very own partner in Twitch until, probably the best surprise which had us howling in our seats, Abby Lee Miller (star of the popular Dance Moms Reality Show) steps on stage and in front of Twitch taking him for herself. But not to worry another man is waiting for Mandy and tonight we are not only lucky enough to see her great work as a choreographer but also as a dancer as she rips off that frumpy blue dress and swaps it out for a glittery gold number. Whew what a number, the crowd goes crazy and I think everyone was ready to get up and dance themselves. Incredible dancing with feet that looked spectacular in Capezio’s newest shoe the Fizzion. Check out the number here.

                 

And so the evening went on, great dance after great dance. From the classical Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux performed by Misty Copeland and Jared Mathews of The American Ballet Theatre to a scorching Tango  performed by Jaime Verazin and Mark Stuart of Libertango, and three incredible tap routines. And then there was the unique and distinctive numbers; Night Vision’s iLUMINATE a dance company that uses lights on their body to produce a dance experience like no other or Millennium Skiva which is a duo that dances on skis, the control and sheer strength they possess is mind-blowing.  Of course the night wouldn’t be complete without the honouring of Capezio’s Dance Award recipient. An award presented annually in recognition of significant contributions to dance in the United States. This years winner, Tommy Tune, is known as one of the most prolific director/choreographers of the 20th century having been honoured with 9 Tony Awards and in 2009, which marked his 50th year in show business, was designated a Living Landmark by the New York Landmarks Conservancy.

And before we knew it the curtain came down, the house lights came back up and the show was over, everyone in the audience pausing not wanting to believe it was over and longing for just a little more. A fabulous night of dancing honouring a company that has helped dancers of all ages, all disciplines and all levels for so many years and what an honour it was to be there and help them celebrate and say thank-you to those who have made it all happen over the year. Congratulation Capezio and here’s to many more years of great, quality dance shoes and wear.

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