May 1, 2021 No Comments khpblack News

Arizona Dance Coalition, in a series of ‘staged photo shoots’ and ‘crashed rehearsals,’ surprised 19 organizers with the first ever CREATING CONNECTIONS AWARD!  The award consists of two exquisitely etched glasses by the famous dance artist Laura Higgins Palmer. Two glasses — so that no one has to drink alone.

The award came with 100% pure, sugar-free, concentrated Prickly Pear Nectar made in Arizona by the Arizona Cactus Ranch. The 4-oz jar makes 24 drinks! In addition to being a beautiful vessel to sip from, this award keeps giving and it’s healthy!

The 19 extraordinary award winners work tirelessly year after year after year, and with deep passion and conviction, to produce their dance events for the students, the dancers, the choreographers, the social dancers and the public. That’s YOU!

Their events:

  • connect dance companies and choreographers for performance,
  • unite dance students (high school and university) for the purpose of learning and performing, or
  • they bring people together from across the country to social dance – some dancers and guest instructors even coming from other countries.


Arizona Dance Coalition is proud to announce the winners of the first ever CREATING CONNECTIONS AWARD. They are sorted by town and duration of event.


Dr. Maribel Alvarez & Kate Alexander
ETHNIC DANCE PERFORMANCES at Tucson Meet Yourself – since 1972 (48 years)

Delfina Alvarez, Grace “Mini” Alvarez & Chantal Danay Ralls
BALLET FOLKLORICO WORKSHOPS in conjunction with La Frontera’s Tucson International Mariachi Conference – since 1990 (30 years)

Michael Williams
AZ JAZZ DANCE SHOWCASE, University of Arizona School of Dance – since 1992 (28 years)

Phyllis Davies & Judy Francis (Team Representatives)
DANCE IN THE DESERT, Tucson Friends of Traditional Music (Contra Dance Event at the Triangle Y Camp) – since 1996 (24 years*)

Nanette Robinson
NO FRILLS DANCE HAPPENIN’, ZUZI! Dance – since 1999 (22 years | 44 bi-annual performances)

Jim Baker
TUCSON TANGO FESTIVAL – since 2009 (11 years*)


Vanessa Ramirez
BALLET FOLKLORICO FESTIVAL part of C.A.L.L.E. de Arizona Mariachi and Folklorico Festival – since 1999 (21 years)


Dabney & Karen Hopkins, aka The Lindy Hopkins
SWINGdepenDANCE – since 2010 (9 years*)


Andrea Downing & Lynn Monson
AzDEO HIGH SCHOOL DANCE FESTIVAL, Arizona Dance Educators Organization – since 1983 (38 years*)

Steve Conrad
ARIZONA SWING JAM, Arizona Lindy Hop Society – since 1997 (22 years*)

Lisa R. Chow
ARIZONA DANCE FESTIVAL, Desert Dance Theatre – since 2000 (19 years*)

Suzy Guarino-Hall
TAP 24.7 THE SHOW (National Tap Dance Day Celebration), Tap 24.7 – since 2011 (10 years)


Gina Darlington
FLAGSTAFF DANCE FESTIVAL, Canyon Movement Company – since 2000 (20 years)

*If an event did not occur due to the pandemic, it is not included in the ‘years’ total. Virtual events are included.


The Arizona Dance Coalition’s tag line is ‘create connections.’ All of the dance events organized and produced by these award recipients have not only created connections, but have contributed to Arizona’s economy in an entertaining, happy and healthy way. “The Arizona Dance Coalition is honored to award these organizers and make them known to you. While we call them organizers, know that they may hold many titles – educators, directors, producers, administrators, grant writers, musicians, dancers, designers, decorators, costumers, studio owners, company directors, and yes, maybe even floor washers. They are extraordinary,” states Krystyna, “and we applaud their outstanding performance year after year after year. If you know the award recipients, please show them some love.”



The CREATING CONNECTIONS AWARD was designed by Laura Higgins Palmer. Her drawings follow the ZEN tradition of using simple means to represent the essences of things. She uses Chinese calligraphic techniques to elicit the joyful dynamism of dance. Laura focuses on energy, the joy of motion and the actions of forms in space – capturing the ephemerality of life itself. Working with Dance and movement as her subject “is the perfect link to the infinite. It affirms life and I see no end to it,” writes Laura Higgins Palmer.

Awards were created by Everything Etched in Scottsdale, with expert service by Liz Ann Hewett. Liz is also a dancer and educator who manages Everything Etched with her husband.


 Arizona Dance Coalition thanks both

Laura Higgins Palmer & Liz Ann Hewett

for being instrumental in the creation of our



**SPECIAL EDITION** of the Arizona Dance e-Star – MAY 2021

Look for the SPECIAL EDITION of the May Arizona Dance e-Star e-publication which will include coverage and lots of photos from our CREATING CONNECTIONS AWARDS presentations and descriptions of the recognized events. Find out who the co-conspirators were as well as the photographers! Plus there will be news from Arizona Dance Coalition members. The e-Star will be uploaded to our webpage, plus you’ll get a notice in your INBOX when it arrives.

If you are not already a subscriber, here’s the link to get on our list:


The Arizona Dance Coalition is a 501(c)(3) membership-based nonprofit organization. We work to connect and support the statewide dance communities through our website content, communications, and sponsorship of educational dance conferences and master classes. Through our monthly publication, scholarships, and sponsorship of educational dance events, we inform, educate, and promote dance arts and their benefits to the general public.

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Krystyna Parafinczuk, ADC Treasurer
Project Manager: Economic Impact Project

May 1, 2021


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