The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 28, 2013

Great Gatsby Gala aids dance company

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — If you happened to drive by McBee’s Irish Pub in uptown Beckley Saturday evening, you may have thought you stepped back in time to the 1920s, as women decked out in flapper-style dresses flooded the streets.

These swanky ladies and their escorts were all dressed up for the Great Gatsby Arts Gala, a benefit for the West Virginia Dance Company.

Benefit supporters were treated to cocktail hour, followed by an evening of dining, dancing, live entertainment, a silent auction, a 50/50 raffle, and a 1920s-themed photo.

Photos were taken by Steve Brightwell with a 1931 Pack-ard, in front of a 1931 Buick, generously provided by Roy and Linda Hardin for the evening.

Nora Morris, development director for West Virginia Dance Company, said all proceeds from the event will benefit the Arts Education Program, which teaches core subjects through dance.

“We host performances and workshops, which really engages students in a different type of learning,” Morris said.

She said the feedback from the teachers is great, as many students absorb more information through kinesthetic, or tactile, learning.

The West Virginia Dance Company chose the Great Gatsby Art Gala for its annual fundraiser because of the hype from the upcoming movie, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

“We worked with the Ra-leigh Playhouse, which show-ed the 1974 version of ‘The Great Gatsby’ Friday and Saturday night. Another matinee will be shown Sunday at 4:15 p.m.”

Tickets are $15 to see the film at the Raleigh Playhouse, located on Neville Street.

Morris said anyone who was unable to attend the event, but would still like to make a donation to the West Virginia Dance Company, can do so at

Upcoming events and additional information can also be found at the dance company’s website.

— E-mail: