Nevada Ballet Theatre (NBT) has announced the 30th anniversary of the Black & White Ball, the 42 year-old ballet company’s annual fundraiser. Doubling as a special 80th birthday celebration for its 2014 honoree and ‘Woman of the Year’, acclaimed star Florence Henderson, the Black & White Ball will be held on Saturday, January 25 at ARIA Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
Broadway, film and television star; singer, spokeswoman, humanitarian and motivational speaker, Florence Henderson’s career has spanned every inch of the entertainment industry from the 1950s until today. Known for being America’s most beloved “TV Mom,” from her time on the ABC sitcom, The Brady Bunch, this all-around talent has made an indelible mark throughout each decade of her illustrious career.
From cooking shows to talk shows, to variety shows; to thousands of guest appearances and numerous product endorsements, Florence Henderson’s career began at age 17 when she enrolled in New York’s prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Shortly thereafter, her talents were noticed by Rodgers and Hammerstein who commissioned her to play the lead in the national tour of OKLAHOMA! Over the past 50 years, she has established herself as one of the world’s leading entertainers, being ranked by TV Land and Entertainment Weekly “as one of the greatest TV icons.”
“We have enjoyed 30 wonderful years of honoring pillars of our community as well as Broadway performers, lauded actresses, dancers, choreographers and other female luminaries who have not only contributed positively to the performing arts, but have brought awareness and much needed funds to the ballet,” says NBT Co-Founder and Board Co-Chair Nancy Houssels. “These legendary women have truly come full-circle in their careers and our 2014 honoree is no different,” adds Houssels. “Florence Henderson’s astounding career has touched thousands of lives and encompassed every aspect of the arts and entertainment world. We are more than excited to celebrate our 30th anniversary as well as the start of her 80th birthday celebration.”
In 2010, Florence Henderson dazzled the country with her dancing skills as one of twelve featured celebrities on Dancing with the Stars, partnering with professional dancer Corky Ballas. She continues to make appearances in film, television, commercials and talk shows. She is a strong supporter of several charities including the City of Hope Cancer Research Center for which she is a spokeswoman and the House Ear Institute, dedicated to improving the quality of life for those with hearing loss.
Touted as the “crème de la crème” of society events by Luxury Las Vegas Magazine, the Black & White Ball is one of the most well-known and revered charity galas in Las Vegas, welcoming an array of local celebrities, dignitaries, VIP’s and local arts supporters. For 30 years, this star-studded gala has raised important funds for NBT, enabling the company to produce professional company productions at its performance home, The Smith Center for the Performing Arts; provide quality dance instruction within its affiliated school, the Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre; and serve at-risk populations of youth in Clark County – bringing free in-school dance instruction and exposure to the art form through its highly-successful Education and Outreach program, Future Dance.
Past honorees of the Black & White Ball include stars of stage and screen: Debbie Reynolds, Chita Rivera, Carol Channing, Celine Dion, Ann-Margret, Rita Rudner, Paula Abdul, Twyla Tharp, Bette Midler, Marie Osmond, Priscilla Presley, Eva Longoria and most recently Mitzi Gaynor. NBT has honored these legendary women for their dedication to the performing arts and often times, their special connection to Las Vegas.