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Dinner and an auction are pretty standard fare on Charleston’s fundraising party scene, but a week ago Friday, the American Lung Association stepped up their annual Oxygen Ball with high-kicking, high-energy, high entertainment from some of the area’s most talented dancers (professional and amateur alike). For the second year, the nonprofit asked local celebrities to take a deep breath, then step out of their comfort zones and onto the dance floor alongside instructors from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Armed with tango, waltz, and swing steps, the Lowcountry Dancing with the Stars competitors—among them our own editor-in-chief Darcy Shankland, who wowed with a spicy salsa number, and chef Bob Waggoner, who flung his fair-haired swing partner this way and that—kept partygoers’ feet tappin’ and hands clappin’.


Watching the showdown, many in the audience caught the dance fever, carrying the party late into the night as the music and drinks flowed. Those who needed a breather headed over to the popular oxygen bar for clean air refreshments mingled with aromas like peppermint, lavender, gardenia, and almond. Late into the night, the judges finished tallying the votes: Pearlstine Distributors owner Jan Lipov and her partner, Andrey Gergel, had tangoed their way to the top! And with proceeds from the evening reaching upwards of $70,000, it seems the American Lung Association’s glamorous gala has also found a winning rhythm.


Across town, the Charleston Horticultural Society was also seeing the green grow at its annual Plantasia party at Gaillard Auditorium. Scroll down for photos of the event.