“It has been a while, but I’m really excited,” Jenna Dewan Tatum told Variety on the red carpet before dancing at the Dizzy Feet Foundation’s Fifth Annual Celebration of Dance Gala Saturday at Club Nokia.
She met husband Channing Tatum on the set of 2006’s “Step Up,” and made a stellar comeback performance with “So You Think You Can Dance” choreographer Travis Wall.
“It feels really great to get back and have the dance part of my body reunited… performing was my first true love. My body is sore, but my heart is happy,” she said. Sadly, the “Magic Mike” star didn’t strap on his dancing shoes, but playing the ever supportive husband, Tatum was there to cheer his wife and gamely posed for selfies with the other performers and guests.
The annual gala raises money for the Dizzy Feet Foundation, which funds dance education programs for children in low-income areas across the country. Money raised from donations and the silent auction goes toward scholarships and programs, funded by the DFF.
“It is shocking how little money can actually support this [dance] education per kid,” Shankman continued. “$50 gets a kid a year’s dance class,” Lythgoe added, finishing his co-founder’s sentence.
The founders continued to speak on dance as a better alternative for low-income kids, who would otherwise choose more unproductive ways to spend their free time. “Join a crew, not a gang,” declared Lythgoe.
The event was sprinkled with jokes from the two founders, who also hosted the event.
In their opening remarks, Lythgoe joked, “We’ve touched more children than anyone we know… “ To which Shankman replied, “And with no indictment!”
Shankman later had a fan moment onstage after “West Side Story” stars George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn accepted the Impact Award. Following them on the stage he said, “They are like the f—–g Beatles!”
Other honorees were jazz dance pro Joe Tremaine, who received the Gene Kelly Legacy Award, and renowned triple-threat Debbie Reynolds, who received the Inspiration Award. Reynolds was unable to attend the event. Her close friend Margie Duncan accepted the award on her behalf after Reynolds’ granddaughter, Billie Lorde, spoke a few words.
Elizabeth Berkley was among the many performers; a collaborative dance number to “Uptown Funk” featuring all of the performers brought the crowd to its feet at the end of the show.
The star-studded event included guests such as Emmanuelle Chriqui, Lance Bass and Paula Abdul; Ben Vereen, Patricia Ward Kelly, Christina Applegate and Jenna Elfman presented awards to the honorees.
(Pictured: Travis Wall and Jenna Dewan Tatum perform at the Dizzy Feet Foundation Gala)