March 6, 2019

American Repertory Ballet Hosts Its Annual Gala 

American Repertory Ballet (ARB) will host its annual gala, “An Enchanted Castle Soirée,” inspired by the company’s world premiere of Kirk Peterson’s Beauty and the Beast, on Saturday, March 9, at 6 p.m. at the Pines Manor in Edison. The fundraiser will honor Christine Zoffinger, Erika Mero, and Joshua Zinder.

Guests will enjoy a French-inspired dinner, silent auction, and dancing alongside artists of American Repertory Ballet. Radio broadcaster Bert Baron, host of “Jersey Central with Bert Baron,” on WCTC (1450AM) will be the master of ceremonies.

The primary goal of the fundraiser is to raise money for ARB’s merit and need-based scholarship program, which awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships last year. The fundraiser will also enable the organization to present professional ballet productions such as Beauty and the Beast and American Made: Paul Taylor and Other Works, which will be performed this spring in New York City.

Zoffinger began dancing and cheering at the age of 5, going on to become a member of nationally ranked high school teams in both the U.S. and in London. She was on the first Rutgers Dance Team invited to compete at the UCA and UDA National College Cheerleading and Dance Team Championship in 1993, and in 1998 was named head coach of Rutgers Dance Team. An active member of the Montgomery Township community, she is president of the Montgomery Township Education Foundation, vice president of the Montgomery Middle School PTO, and president of the Montgomery High School Football Booster Club.

Zinder is principal of the Princeton-based Joshua ZinderArchitecture + Design (JZA+D) founded in 2006. The practice functions as a multidisciplinary team that shares sustainable and contemporary design aesthetics and aspirations. His daughter studied dance at Princeton Ballet School, and was the architectural consultant for ARB in preparation for the company’s move into its new home, the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. 

Mero began her dance training at Princeton Ballet School and has been teaching in the School since 2003. She earned a BFA in dance performance from SUNY Purchase, and a MA in dance education with a concentration in ABT Ballet Pedagogy from New York University. She has been on the faculty for American Ballet Theatre’s Young Dancer Summer Workshop and is currently an adjunct instructor at The Lawrenceville School as well as Rutgers University at Mason Gross School of the Arts.