Joffrey Ballet’s 2014 Spring Gala

Elisabeth Adams and Dana Hokin Garvey

One of the most phenomenal and festive fetes in Chicago is the Joffrey Ballet’s annual Spring Gala, this year titled “We All Speak Dance.” The Women’s Board members and co-chairs Elisabeth Adams and Dana Hokin Garvey welcome guests to a performance at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (50 East Congress Parkway) followed by cocktails, dinner and dancing at the Hilton Chicago’s Grand Ballroom (720 South Michigan Avenue) on Friday, April 25.

Serving on the Women’s Board of the Joffrey for the past five years, Dana Hokin Garvey has a background in fine arts, music, design and theater. After all, she was a student at the School of American Ballet in New York City. Joining the board has been a perfect fit, as Ms. Garvey’s experience is diverse ranging from teaching studio arts (drawing and painting); founding a non-profit multi-media presenting arts organization; maintaining a studio and design company Deliberate Hues; and currently being positioned at the helm of a family business based in the Caribbean, headquartered in Chicago. Bitter End Yacht Club is a world-renowned resort in Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands.

Ms. Garvey joined the Women’s Board because she believes “in the transformative impact world-class dance and dance education offers our community and our kids. The discipline, the grace, the music, the physical expression that I learned as a student at the School of American Ballet has stayed with me my whole life. My daughter and our community of children have this opportunity in Chicago through the Joffrey Academy and Joffrey’s Community Engagement programs.”

Having spent her entire life in the center of the arts led Ms. Garvey to co-chair the Joffrey’s Spring Gala with Elisabeth Adams. Ms. Garvey adds, “Ballet is not a barrier to the community but a bridge. This is why ‘We All Speak Dance’ is the theme of our gala this year. Ballet is a transformative art – built on discipline, athleticism, grace and rhythm that offers us an experience we are all ultimately moved by.”

Enjoying the arts as a young girl in New York, Elisabeth Adams attended performances by the New York Philharmonic, at the Metropolitan Opera and Broadway plays with her parents. Serving on the Joffrey’s Women’s Board since its inception in 2001, Ms. Adams shares, ”The Women’s Board supports all of the initiatives of the Joffrey, including the ballet company itself; varied community engagement programs, including programs that bring dance instruction and education to the Chicago Public Schools for grades K-12; and the Academy, which has training programs for students ranging from children to pre-professionals who are preparing for a career in dance.”

On how she got involved with the Women’s Board of the Joffrey, Ms. Adams shares, “My first involvement with the Joffrey was being on the committee of the Children’s Nutcracker Luncheon, which was held at the Hilton Ballroom before a matinee performance of the Nutcracker. It was a fun and chaotic event, with 1,000 attendees including many, many children. The Luncheon was the brainchild of Nancy Klimley, and she asked me to be on the committee. After that I segued onto the Women’s Board. I was happy to be asked and was very inspired by the vision and determination of civic leaders such as Maureen Smith, the first Women’s Board President, to bring a world-class ballet company to Chicago and support it during those early years.”

Asked what she considers to be the Joffrey’s best assets, Ms. Adams shares, “I am still awed by the artistic excellence of the Joffrey Ballet, under the direction of our incredibly gifted Artistic Director Ashley Wheater. The gala’s theme this year is ‘We All Speak Dance,’ celebrating the universal language of the dance art form, as well as the international reach of the Joffrey Ballet.”

For additional information and tickets, visit

Herb Migdoll Photograph


About Cindy Burns

Currently writing for TCW's 'Woman About Town' column, Cindy Burns covers Chicago's social scene, events, fashion, and interviews women and men who are making a difference in the world. With an M.A. in American History from DePaul University, Ms. Burns is an author, freelance writer, avid reader and researcher. Ms. Burns has spent over 20 years serving on charitable boards and organizations, and currently serves as a member of the Women's Board of the Joffrey Ballet and the Women's Auxiliary Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago. She is also an Honorary Member of the Children's Service Board of Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital. When Ms. Burns isn't running around Chicago covering current events, you can find her biking, on the tennis courts, or hiking in a mountainous region of her choice.