Graceful: Members of DanceBermuda 2010’s Young Dancers’ Programme and Red Level performing ‘Aurora's Friends’ from Act I, The Sleeping Beauty, at the National Dance Foundation’s annual gala. *Photo by Charles Anderson
Graceful: Members of DanceBermuda 2010’s Young Dancers’ Programme and Red Level performing ‘Aurora's Friends’ from Act I, The Sleeping Beauty, at the National Dance Foundation’s annual gala. *Photo by Charles Anderson

A reinsurance company has donated $100,000 to the National Dance Foundation.

Ariel Re CEO Tom Hulst presented the cheque at the foundation’s annual fundraising gala, on Saturday.

It represents $50,000 in funding for the next two years.

At the gala — held at the Fairmont Southampton resort — the creation of ten scholarships to study at the American Ballet Theatre was also announced.

The ABT donation will enable teachers to gain accreditation at its New York studios. Its accreditation ­programme has produced 400 graduates who are teaching in 47 U.S. states and 13 countries.

The NDF annual gala also honoured chairman Don Kramer’s contributions to dance, with a series of surprise tributes which included messages from Academy Award-winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and television producer Nigel Lythgoe.

Youth

Mr. Kramer has led the NDF for the past eight years and was recently appointed chairman of the ABT.

In a video-taped message, Miss Zeta-Jones — a fellow NDF board member — paid tribute to his contributions to the youth of the island.

“Don, the difference you have made in the lives of Bermuda’s young people is profound. You appreciate the love they have for dance and you’ve led the way for the National Dance Foundation to give the island’s dancers every chance to have a world-class experience,” she said.

Mr. Lythgoe, co-producer of TV series So You Think You Can Dance and American Idol, also sent in a taped message.

“Don, we know you love to perform. So if you’re interested in coming to try out for So You Think You Can Dance, or perhaps American Idol, we’d be happy to waive the age requirement,” he said.

Also paying tribute were: Brian O’Hara, NDF vice-chairman; Kevin McKenzie, ABT director; and Rachel Moore, ABT executive director.

Soloists

Entertainment included ­performances by DanceBermuda, the NDF’s international ­summer ­programme, and ABT soloists Misty Copeland and Sascha Radetsky.

Six ­members of the Board — former dancers Cathy Aicardi, Sophia Cannonier, Penny Cox, Vanessa Hardy, Sal Hodgson and Sonja Salmon — concluded with ‘One’ from A Chorus Line.