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A five-hour long ballroom dance extravaganza, which featured two one-hour long, awesome professional dance exhibitions, was held in Dallas, TX on Oct. 31, 1996 in the Regency ballroom of the Fairmont hotel. Ben de la Vega's Incognito Ball was attended by more than 800 dancers and featured sumptuous dining and the music of two big-band dance orchestras, Phares Corder and Vicho Vicencio. The professional exhibitions were danced by Gocha Chertkoev/Shorena Gachechiladze, Tim and Barbara Haller, Peta Siddal/Marylyn Benitez, and Pierre Allaire/Mirielle Vielleux.
Although Mr. de la Vega has put on similar events in the past, this one was special for both him personally and the ballroom dancing world in general. Since ballroom dancing has been given provisional status by the International Olympic Committee, Mr. de la Vega, along with a group of international ballroom dance professionals, has been working toward making Dallas into the U.S. Olympic training center for ballroom dancing, and this event was attended by Mr. Ron Sylvan, the Southwest Director of the U.S. Olympic Committee. This affair kicked-off Mr. de la Vega's drive to create the Dallas Dance Sport Center which he envisions as a competition and practice setting for dancesport amateurs and professionals from the United States and abroad to be staffed by a select group of dance instructional organizations. He envisions a center that stages dancing events on several levels; especially high profile events featuring world-class stars.
Although no site for the facility has yet been chosen, several locations are under consideration and a business plan has been drafted for presentation to potential investors and sponsors. By means of events such as the Incognito Ball and a performance group called the De La Vega Dancers, Ben is seeking investors and sponsors, hoping to generate a base of support that crosses socioeconomic frontiers. In addition to individuals, he hopes to gather support from associations, educational institutions, and dance professionals.