I’ve got an on-the-scene little ditty in the Chronicle today:
“Forget the Big Game. A new rivalry was raging in San Francisco on Thursday night, and you could hear bloodlust and trash talk in the air. Dance, dance, baby. You know, you know, came the rallying cry. Dance, dance, baby. We told you so.
Throughout the Concourse Exhibition Hall, a well-heeled but revved-up mob sipped “Gatortinis” and munched mini corn dogs. They had paid $125 apiece to support ODC Dance Commons, the $9.5 million, 23,000-square-foot dance center opened by ODC/Dance, the city’s most established modern dance company, in the heart of the Mission District last year. But the crowd also came looking for a showdown.
For years, millionaire investment banker Warren Hellman — whose wife, Chris, is a former chair of the San Francisco Ballet board — wanted to test the question: Who are the better athletes — sports stars or dancers? The fantasy matchup sprang to mind after taking too many under-appreciative visitors to his box at the Ballet. As Hellman told the audience Thursday: “My wife and I would usually take another couple, and the man would usually be an overweight businessman. During the intermission, I’d ask him, ‘So what do you think?’ and I got so tired of hearing their responses — ‘It’s so effete.’ I’d say, ‘You focus on one male dancer for five minutes, and you tell me if you’ve ever been able to do a single thing that they’re doing in your life.’ ”
So with a worthy cause in hand, Hellman approached Sandy Barbour, UC Berkeley’s director of athletics, who volunteered her student athletes for “Toe to Toe,” a night of intense competition. Cal versus Stanford or UCLA or Southern Cal this was not, but a thirst for victory was clear. The Golden Bears brought out their Straw Hat marching band and cheerleaders decked out in blue and gold; ODC’s “coaches” dressed their competitors in silk red and black robes, “Rocky”-style, and assembled their own, markedly funkier, spirit squad. “Work it out!” Corey Brady shouted to fellow dancer Yukie Fujimoto pregame, punching the air as she downed bottled water.”
For the full story, and to find out who won–by a landslide–click here.