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Hoofers step up

'Take the Lead' leads benefit

WHAT: Thursday’s benefit screening of New Line’s “Take the Lead” for L.A.’s BEST, an org that operates after-school enrichment programs.

 WHO: Director Liz Friedlander; Pierre Dulaine (dubbed “the Michael Jordan of ballroom” by Friedlander); producer Diane Nabatoff; plus cast including Yaya DaCosta, Marcus T. Paulk, Jasika Nicole and Dante Basco

WHERE: Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese, followed by a bash at Level 3

STEPPING UP: Dulaine, on whose life the film was based, stressed the importance of funding art programs in schools. “I don’t have to tell anyone here how money is always being cut out of the arts in schools,” said the dancer, who is played by Antonio Banderas onscreen. Dulaine initiated an after-school ballroom dance program for high school kids in New York. The program now teaches 7,500 children twice a week.