Golden Bears Support Community With 'Toe-to-Toe' Event

Jan. 31, 2008

BERKELEY - Student-athletes and dancers will go 'Toe-to-Toe' as California student-athletes and some of the Bay Area's best dancers from Oberlin Dance Company (ODC) will compete in one of the more unique events of the year. The second annual 'Toe-to-Toe' will be held on Tuesday, February 12th at The Concourse (8th and Brannan) in San Francisco from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Cal athletes and ODC dancers will compete in relay races, obstacle courses, jousting events and more.

The first event saw the ODC dancers edge the Cal student-athletes, leaving the Golden Bears eager for revenge - and with the timing of the event, a strong infusion of Cal football players is expected, including All-American center Alex Mack - who offered his serves for the promotional photos for the event.

Event Chair Warren Hellman is ready for the rematch. 'It's going to be quite interesting. Both sides are taking this year's contest even more seriously and will be training intensively. So...let the games begin!'

Both ODC and Cal are ready for the challenge. Brenda Way, founder and Artistic Director of ODC said, 'Cal wants to get its own back after last year and ODC is up for the challenge. But let me tell you, all these kids are outstanding performers!'

'Cal student-athletes are in serious training for the rematch! We won't be denied this year!' said Cal Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour. 'In all seriousness, we're thrilled to be associated with this fabulous event.'

The judges for the event, who have quite a knowledge of athleticism themselves, will score the competitors on capabilities and style; the panel is scheduled to include Harris Barton, Vida Blue, MC Hammer, Ronnie Lott, Willie Mays and Steve Nash.

Following the competitions, the participants will move to a center stage area for the main event. Teams combining Cal and ODC athletes will perform in their own version of Dancing with the Stars, judged by the celebrity panel and the audience.

Tickets for 'Toe to Toe' are $125, $75 of which is a charitable contribution. They are available on the web ( or by phone (Slim's: 415-352-7299). For sponsorship information, call (415) 352-7299 or visit

Student-athletes from a wide-range of Cal sports will be involved as well as the Cal Spirit Groups and the Cal Straw Hat Band. Entertaining video will be shown throughout of rehearsals and practice outtakes.

'Toe-to-Toe provides a unique opportunity for our student-athletes to give back to the community and their fans,' Cal Director of Student-Athlete Development Amy Bair said. 'We're excited to be a part of this experience, because it celebrates all forms of athleticism.'

'Toe to Toe' is a benefit for Cal Athletics and the ODC Dance Commons, which serves nearly 10,000 artists and students and 55,000 audience members annually. The Commons is the Bay Area's largest contemporary dance resource and a national destination for performing artists and arts enthusiasts. Fundraising enables ODC to make rehearsal space available to Bay Area performing artists at a low cost while continuing to provide the wide range of mentorship programs to the upcoming generation of artists.

Here's a glance at the breadth of ODC's programs:

ODC Dance: an internationally acclaimed professional contemporary dance companyODC School: 180 classes weekly for professional, pre-professional & recreational dancers of all ages. . . from modern and ballet to world dance and social danceODC Dance Jam: ODC's children's performing companyODC Educational Outreach Program: a creativity-based community outreach programODC Mentorship Program: incubates & presents emerging choreographers & companiesODC Healthy Dancers Clinic: a joint program of ODC and San Francisco General Hospital, providing free diagnostic care to those using the ODC Dance CommonsODC Theater: home to over 200 performances each year of emerging, mid-level, and international artists.

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