Flips and spins hold the gaze of an audience of friends, residents, and family as Raquel Levrone, RN, BSN, CM/DN, debuts her dance routine at Brightview Senior Living in Columbia. Accompanied by her coach and dance partner, Carlos Pabon, this nursing director of the senior living community will compete on April 30 at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel as one of nine participants in the Alzheimer’s Association’s 2022 Memory Ball Dancing Stars. With an expected audience of 700 spectators, the gala funds support services and medical research for the more than 110,000 Marylanders living with Alzheimer’s and other dementia.
Each Dancing Star trains with a professional dancing coach to perfect a choreographed routine and collects donations. The numeric amount of each donation counts as the number of votes received. The person with the most “votes” is named “You’re Our Star,” and a panel of judges selects the best performance of the evening, presenting the “Judges’ Choice” award. The goal of the gala is to raise $600,000.
Levrone’s connection to the disease is both personal and professional. “I’m dancing for my grandfather, retired Colonel Ira Snell, Jr., who did 30 years in
[the Green Beret
] special forces and is living with dementia, and the residents of Brightview.” Although Snell resides at Brightview in the memory care unit, he was unable to watch the performance due to his health. Family members in attendance include Levrone’s mother, Angie, and her grandmother, Gertie, who proudly shares, “Ira and I have been married for 63 years.” Absentee supporters include her brother, former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Andre Levrone and his fiancé, 2021 gold-medal Olympian Sydney McLaughlin, who won the 400-meter hurdles.
Levrone’s fast-paced routine is done to the accompaniment of The Temptations’ “Get Ready” and Martha Reeves and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Streets.” The gala’s theme, “On Broadway,” pays homage to noted plays.
Thunderous applause and donations from residents concludes the program. “Thank you to everyone for your support,” beams Levrone, who has set a goal of raising $60,000. An encore performance is scheduled April 28 on WBFF Fox 45, airing at 9:15 a.m. To support the Memory Ball, visit act.alz.org/BaltimoreMemoryBall.
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