Literally magic: Dewey Dance Variety Hour reimagines a biennial event

Literally magic: Dewey Dance Variety Hour reimagines a biennial event

Over 250 Lab families gathered—virtually—on Friday, March 6, for the Dewey Dance Variety Hour, a night of magic with third-generation magician and mentalist, Dennis Watkins. Highlights of the evening included performances by Lab students from Bel Canto, the U-High Quartet, the Chamber Collective, and independent student music students. Dennis Watkins amazed the online audience with mind-reading and card tricks; and ended the show with a trick everyone could perform at home and the message: "You are magic."

Started in 2017, Dewey Dance, a biennial event of Lab, is a fun, informal event that raises critical funds for Lab's financial aid program and brings the community together. Dewey Dance alternates with Connections, Lab's formal gala, supporting the Schools. The first two Dewey Dances (in 2017 and 2019) were held in Lab's very own Kovler Gymnasium (though much transformed by fun decorations) and themes (think 1980s) gave people reason to be a little more costumey alson with the excuse to dance in gym shoes.

This year's event—organized by a committee of volunteers led by Holly Warshauer, P'21, and Courtney Sherrer, P'26—needed to be reimagined. The goal: to provide a fun way for Lab families, staff, and alumni to enjoy an evening together. A secondary goal, as has been the case for each Dewey Dance, was to raise funds for financial aid. In his remarks, Interim Director David Magill shared that this year, Lab has awarded more financial aid than ever in the school's history this year. To help support that, Variety Hour attendees could make a donation, buy raffle tickets for a variety of prizes, or join other virtual sign-up party events. The event exceeded expectations, raising over $125,000 for financial aid at Lab.