Tony Award winner Ben Vereen hosted the Fred & Adele Astaire Awards, which were held at the Gerald Lynch Theater at John Jay College, on Monday, June 7. Lee Roy Reams directed the event, which also served as a benefit for The Douglas Watt Family Fund, with proceeds going to existing programs that introduce inner city youth to the world of dance.
Special guests included Dancing with the Stars' Cheryl Burke, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Tony Dovolani, and Peta Roby; Grammy Award winner Roberta Flack; and actors Bob Balaban, Marge Champion, Charlotte D'Amboise, Carol Lawrence, Sondra Lee, and Rosie Perez.
The evening also featured appearances and performances by the Broadway casts of Come Fly Away, Memphis, Fela!,Ragtime, as well as Evidence Dance Company, and a performance by Reams. Director/choreographer Kenny Ortega received the Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award at the ceremony, which was presented to him by Roberta Flack.
Winners in competitive categories included Bill T. Jones, who won Outstanding Broadway Choreography for his work on Fela!. The winners of the Outstanding Female Dancer on Broadway category were Nicole Chantal de Weever & the Female Ensemble from Fela!. The winner in the men's category for dancing on Broadway was Charlie Neshyba-Hodges from Come Fly Away.