“So You Think You Can Dance” judges Nigel Lythgoe and Adam Shankman hosted a gala and performance to celebrate dance and benefit the Dizzy Feet Foundation on July 27 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at LA’s Music Center.
“It’s not about becoming the next Baryshnikov, it’s literally about coming together, having a community, understanding creativity, developing self-confidence,” Shankman said. “You don’t get that when you’re studying history or sitting in front of a computer.”
However, as far as the “dizzy feet” term goes, Shankman wasn’t quite so sure what that meant.
“Nigel Lythgoe came up with it and I just didn’t question it,” he said, laughing.
Christina Applegate, who presented Chita Rivera with the DFF Inspiration Award, felt a special connection with the event, as she started dancing at three years old.
“It was the one thing that kept me out of trouble,” she said. “I remember my mom saying to me, ‘Christina, you’re being a real a-hole this week, have you been to dance class?’ And I realized I hadn’t. It was also my therapy.”
Other honorees were Lionsgate’s Erik Feig and Arthur Mitchell, the founder of the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
Talent from “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dancing with the Stars” and the “Step Up” films, along with dance crews LXD and Travis Wall’s Shaping Sound, performed everything from classical ballet to dubstep. Most importantly, though, an announcement before the show was made that there was “no twerking allowed.”
The foundation was founded by Lythgoe, Shankman, Carrie Ann Inaba and Katie Holmes in 2009 with the purpose of supporting and increasing dance education in the U.S. Other guests included Jenna Elfman, Paula Abdul, Jane Lynch, Anna Kendrick, Darren Criss, Jenna Ushkowitz, Cat Deeley and Wayne Brady.