BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The woman in charge is Kris Cangelosi, whose career took her from stages in major cities across the country to a dancer back home to Baton Rouge. She wants to share the joy and expression of dance with those around her.
When Cangelosi saw all the people whose lives never encountered the arts, she swung into action, taking dancers to schools, libraries, and festivals. Then, she met director, Gaylynn Mack, or Big Buddy, and did Day of the Mentor, where she performed.
"Oh yeah, I love these people," said Cangelosi.
Cangelosi met Big Buddy seven years ago and the dancing began. Cangelosi started taking kids on tour with dance camps. She also took the children on tour to dance outside their neighborhoods.
"Like about 30 kids that go to 13 libraries, youth camps, different things in the summer time to perform for free, and we do it for four weeks in the summer time in June, so it's great for the kids to see all the zip codes, to see how everybody lives here in Baton Rouge and to be able to give back what they have, their talent, for free, and to be able to bond with people in this community so that they understand that there are people on many levels and not just in their little circles," said Cangelosi.
It seemed natural to make Cangelosi chair of the big Dancing for Big Buddy fundraiser. The next fundraiser, pairing local celebrities and notables with real dancers, will take lots of work to present that professional look you see on the stage, and this year, as always, Big Buddy's best buddy could be Kris Cangelosi.
"I just get a warm feeling inside when I give to people, and especially to children who need it," said Cangelosi.