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3rd Annual Fall Dance a Huge Success, “Christmas in August in Banner Elk” Now in Planning Stage

The 3rd Annual Fall Dance was a success. Planning is already underway for the 4th Annual Fall Dance in August 2019.

By James Nipper

On Saturday, October 6, Sandi Finci Solomon, working in partnership with the Appalachian State University’s Vice Chancellor Randy Edwards, hosted the 3rd Annual Community Fall Dance. This dance took place in the Grandfather Ballroom at the Plemmons Student Union on the ASU campus, and included a delicious catered dinner from the Daniel Boone Inn and a make-your-own ice cream sundae, compliments of Chancellor Sherri Everts.

Live music was provided by the Lucky Strikes Orchestra, which played a nice variety of shag, swing, beach, and 1950-1960’s music! Tickets were sold for $25 ($10 for students) which included dinner, a live band, and dance.  Once again, this annual event was a huge success, and substantially exceeded last year’s attendance. The Grandfather Ballroom dance floor was filled with energetic dancers of all ages, from young college students to prominent seniors up to eighty years old!

The Lucky Strikes Orchestra performed as the live band during the Fall Dance.

The monies made after expenses were divided between the ASU Shag and Swing Clubs. Each club now has a nest egg to recruit more members and have their own dance parties!!

This wonderful evening of fun started off with a surprise dance routine by Sandi Finci Solomon and her sweetheart Tony Luis, which reflected their incredible dancing skills and set the tone for a night of fun and celebration of the art of dance and community spirit.

Now in its third year, this Annual Fall Dance was a wonderful time of fellowship, music, and fun, and was greatly enjoyed by both young and old. Sandi Finci Solomon’s passion for young people, dance and the theater is remarkable. Believing that music and dance is the glue that can bring people of different persuasions, ages, and beliefs together, Sandi loves young people in a very special way, and has contributed much to Appalachian State University in Boone, and Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk.

She gives a “Joy of Partner Dance” presentation and demonstration to the students of Lees-McRae College and ASU in the Fall. Lees-McRae College recently renamed their theatre stage in honor of Sandi, which is now known as the Sandi Finci Solomon Stage.

Not one inclined to slow down at eighty years of age, Sandi can now share what may be one of the High Country’s best-kept secrets !   She is now in the planning stages of what will become known as “Christmas In August in Banner Elk,” which will take place in Banner Elk, NC and will premier on August 26, 2019.

Still in preliminary planning stages, Sandi plans to incorporate Christmas music and dance, featuring the Carolina Snowbelles Christmas Show and other local talent. The Snowbelles are an all-female dance troupe from Blowing Rock, NC founded by Cheryl Cutlip, a former Rockette from New York City. The Carolina Snowbelles are comprised of dancers from 9 years old to adults. There are even mothers and daughters…which shows that “Dancing is multigenerational,” says Sandi, “it brings generations and families together.”

Sandi plans to feature them in “Christmas In August in Banner Elk” after their scheduled performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on December 15th, 2018. The grapevine also has it that the new President of Lees-McRae College, Dr. Herbert L. King, Jr. has even agreed to be Santa Claus in this premier opening of this new annual event for Banner Elk, to be forever billed as “Christmas In August in Banner Elk” !

Our High Country area is blessed with fun-loving people, strong traditions, and a very supportive community spirit. Sandi Finci Solomon and Appalachian State University would like to thank those who attended the 3rd Annual Fall Dance, and Sandi will continue to seek further community support of the “Christmas In August in Banner Elk,” premiering on Sunday, August 25, 2019 with Christmas music playing in the bell tower all week, and the Carolina Snowbelles Christmas Show (along with other musical talents) taking place on Saturday, August 31.

We are seeking sponsors for this event.  Please contact Sandi Finci Solomon sfinci@aol.com for details!

More Pictures from the 3rd Annual Fall Dance: