2013 Event Info


What a Success!  Hope you all enjoyed!  Thanks for helping us raise over $125,000 for Fisher House CT!  Help us make 2014 even better!

Dancing With Our Heroes

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Connecticut Convention Center

Hartford, Connecticut


The Fred Astaire Franchised Dance Studios of New England are partnering together for a fund-raising “Dancing with Our Heroes” Gala to be held Sunday, November 10, 2013 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

The event will feature general dancing, a sit-down dinner, a silent auction, a professional show and the “Dancing with Our Heroes” competition. The proceeds of the event will be donated to The Friends of Fisher House Connecticut for the construction of a Fisher House on the grounds of the West Haven VA. The goal is to raise $200,000.

The “Dancing with Our Heroes” competition will be a Ballroom & Latin dance competition between our military heroes, who will each be partnered with a professional dance instructor. Each participating Fred Astaire Dance Studio will provide the instructors and free lessons to help the hero prepare for the competition. There will be no cost to the hero for participation. Winners will be selected by audience votes and a panel of celebrity judges.

Need a hotel room?  We’ve secured a group rate for Dancing With Our Heroes guests.  Click Here to reserve a hotel room at the Hartford Marriott with our group discount.


Master of Ceremonies – Hena Daniels


Hena Daniels anchors Eyewitness News at 11. She also reports “Your Stories.” A segment answering questions about towns and cities for Connecticut viewers.  Hena returned to WFSB after a two years at our sister station, CBS Atlanta, where she was a reporter and fill-in anchor.  Hena also serves as an adjunct professor at Capital Community College and was an adjunct professor at the “Connecticut School Of Broadcasting.”

Hena started her career as a one man band reporter in Watertown, NY. She then moved down South and worked as a reporter at WTOC-TV, in Savannah, GA.  In October 2005, Hena joined WFSB-TV’s Eyewitness News team as a general assignment reporter and became weekend anchor in October of 2008, making her one of the first Pakistani anchors in the U.S.  In 2008, a reporting adventure took her to Pakistan days after martial law was declared in the country. Hena had exclusive access to a military base in Karachi.  She interviewed former President Pervez Musharraf’s retired Lieutenant Colonels. She also reported at Benazir Bhutto’s house while the Prime Minister was under house arrest and weeks before being assassinated.  Hena has won several awards including an Associated Press award for Best Spot News, Best Breaking News and Best Sports Feature.  In 2009 and 2010, she was voted Best Reporter by the readers of Hartford Magazine.

Born and raised in Queens, N.Y., Hena graduated from the University at Buffalo, where she earned two bachelor’s degrees in English and Psychology.  Her love for journalism began during her two years as the feature editor for her campus newspaper, The Spectrum. Hena later started her television career producing newscasts, but quickly learned she preferred being in the field.  You can email Hena at Hena.Daniels@wfsb.com or follow her on Twitter: @HenaDaniels


Prudence Sloane

prudencePrudence Sloane is a TV chef, culinary educator, food journalist and public  speaker. She is the weekly chef on “Better Connecticut”, WFSB Channel 3 with Scot Haney and Kara Sundlun and runs Prudence Sloane’s Hartford City Food Tours which combines cooking classes with a tour of Hartford’s ethnic markets and restaurants.  Her TV and radio credits include her TV show “Let’s Eat! with Prudence Sloane,”; host of “Simply Food” on WTIC and WDRC; and co-creator and co-host of  the “Food Schmooze” on Connecticut Public Radio. She was featured on Lifetime TV’s Celebrating Women, is an honors graduate of The Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. and the founder of Prudence Sloane’s Cooking School where she taught professional techniques to home cooks incorporating the science of cooking and ethnic flavoring principles.

She started dancing in 2005 as a contestant on a “Dancing with the Stars” style type of competition at the Connecticut Convention Center. It was the start of a 2nd career. She is now a member of the dance troupe “Stardust Dancers & Company” who perform themed shows from Big Band and American Bandstand Swing to elegant Putting on The Ritz ballroom throughout New England.

Prior to her career in food, Prudence was in the arts with a degree in Art History. After graduating she worked in NYC as an account executive for Art & Antiques Magazine. She then left the corporate field to paint full time. She met her husband Bob Chaplin, artist and wine writer in Norway and settled in England before returning to New York. After culinary school she turned her artistic eye towards food and worked as a food stylist for print and television before moving to Hampton, CT where she opened her cooking school.  Born in Bridgehampton Long Island and raised in Miami, she lives with her husband in Avon, CT.

Joan Dylan

It only takes a few minutes of listening to Joan Dylan on LITE 100.5 WRCH, to know that Joan absolutely loves keeping you company during each day. You can almost see the smile on her face while she’s talking about the latest release from a favorite artist, discussing plans for the weekend, relating an e-mail she received from a listener, or giving away great prizes over the air, in person or here on WRCH.com!  Joan Loves boating, CrossFit, she has her own DJ company DJing weddings, parties and events, and she is also a Justice Of The Peace. Joan loves to teach at Connecticut School of Broadcasting and is involved with several charity events, including being the first person to teach a Communications class to Homeless individuals in Hartford.



Joel Silvestro


Joel Silvestro is a long-time instructor and performer of swing, ballroom, and vintage dance. He is known across New England for his gentleman charm, expert dance skills and musicality, his sense of humor, playfulness, and his “joie de vivre”. He began his dance career in California as a dance instructor and dance trouper. He continued his passion for the history of dance as founder of the “Prim and Not-to-Proper” costumed vintage dancers, and as a member of the swing performance group the “Rhythm Rousers.”

Joel continues to perform and choreograph as a member of the “Stardust Dancers and Company” a local dance performance group made up of working professionals who share a common passion for dancing. Since 2009, the Stardust Dancers have performed a wide variety of vintage, swing, and ballroom dance pieces throughout New England including the Hartford Stage, the Playhouse on the Park, the Ivoryton Theater Playhouse, Hartford’s First Night, the Omni Mount Washington Resort Hotel in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire and Tribute USA, Lake Compounce, CT.”

When he’s not dancing, he’s busy, as resident wig stylist for several of Connecticut’s local theaters, including The Ivorytown Playhouse, or running the hair styling salon he owns and manages with his wife Linda.  Born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut Joel is a Veteran of the US Armed Forces and presently resides in Kensington.


The Venue

Just steps from Downtown Hartford, the Connecticut Convention Center overlooks the beautiful Connecticut River at Adriaen’s Landing, the city’s exciting riverfront district. Opened in 2005, the Connecticut Convention Center is an award-winning venue owned by the State of Connecticut.

With over 140,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 40,000 square foot ballroom and 25,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, the Connecticut Convention Center is the largest convention facility between New York and Boston. The venue also features exceptional demographics and highway access at the crossroads of New England, where Interstates 84 and 91 meet. With a prominent visual presence on Hartford’s historic skyline, the Center’s 110-foot glass atrium dramatically rises 10 stories above a grand public plaza and a tree-lined riverfront esplanade.

A pristine new venue, the Connecticut Convention Center has been constructed to spare no detail in making every function accommodating. From state-of-the-art rigging, wiring and WiFi to flexible spaces, abundant pre-function areas and on-site sheltered parking, the facility has taken every facet of hosting an event into consideration. That includes a AAA Four Diamond lodging experience at the 22-story, 409-room Marriott Hartford Downtown Hotel, conveniently attached to the convention center.

Program of Activities at the Gala

 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Cocktail Hour
Meet and Greet with Heroes & Celebrities
Silent Auction
General Dancing

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm


8:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Dancing with Our Heroes Competition
General Dancing
Professional Show

10:00 pm – 11:00 pm

General Dancing
Silent Auction
(Bidding closes at 11:00 pm)

11:30 pm

Pick-Up Silent Auction Items