2014 Community Dance Advocacy Award Winners Announced—Nancy Ehrle and Judah Gesmundo

Western Michigan University's Department of Dance and Partners in Dance are proud to announce two recipients of this year's Community Dance Advocacy Award, Nancy Ehrle and Judah Gesmundo. The awards will be presented at a dinner event on Friday, Jan.31, 2014 at the Cityscape event center as part of the Department of Dance's annual Winter Gala Dance Concert at WMU.

Partners in Dance created the Community Dance Advocacy Award to highlight and recognize dance activity, advocacy and leadership in the Greater Kalamazoo Area. Conferred annually, this award honors a leader or volunteer who has demonstrated significant accomplishments in the advancement of dance in the community. Nominations are accepted each fall. Both Ehrle and Gesmundo have outstanding records of service to the art of dance and have given an incredible amount of time, energy, vision and support to promote dance throughout West Michigan.

Nancy Ehrle was a founding member of Partners in Dance and has tirelessly worked to progress the art of dance by promoting dance education and opportunities for students to expand their training as dance artists. Enthusiastic, positive, knowledgeable, articulate and always willing to engage the task at hand, Ehrle has been dubbed "the quintessential volunteer." Ehrle's enthusiasm for dance extends to various areas in the dance community. In addition to her involvement with Western Michigan University's Dance Department, Ehrle is known throughout Kalamazoo for her support of an array of local dance organizations.

Judah Gesmundo, a former dancer herself, has provided visionary leadership to the nonprofit dance sector in West Michigan, most notably with her involvement with Wellspring/Cori Terry and Dancers. Gesmundo's passion for dance as well as her formidable organizational, planning and fundraising skills have been pivotal to the advancing the Wellspring Company. As with Ehrle, Gesmundo has not limited her support to one organization; she is a consistent and steadfast advocate for collaboration and unity throughout the dance sector of West Michigan.

Through their continued support of dance in West Michigan, Nancy Ehrle and Judah Gesmundo are models of excellence in volunteerism and embody the values of the Community Dance Advocacy Award.

For questions or additional information, call (269) 387-5845.