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Julie Bragg, Kathryn Mary Costanzo score judge's choice at Richmond dance competition

Posted at 3:49 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-26 15:49:36-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A CBS 6 News favorite became a dance floor favorite at the inaugural Dancing with the Local Stars Spring Gala Thursday night in Richmond.

Julie Bragg helped in raising nearly $38,000 for the Virginia Down Syndrome Association (VDSA) event that featured five pairs of local celebrities and their dance partners.

“I love to dance,” said Julie’s partner, Kathryn Mary Costanzo. “I like doing jazz, tap, and of course, ballet."

Costanzo, 19, took home the Judge’s Choice trophy with Bragg for their comedic musical theater number, choreographed by Miracles in Motion, a non-profit dance group that provides specialized dance instruction to individuals with disabilities of all ages throughout Central Virginia.

“I believe in what the Down Syndrome Association does and all of the children and young adults that they help,” Bragg said.

Julie Bragg and Kathryn Mary
Julie Bragg and Kathryn Mary

After rehearsing for weeks, each team had the crowd on its feet cheering and dancing along. Dan Schultheis, Jr. of Atlantic Constructors, and his partner, Leah McGowen, took home the coveted Mirror Ball trophies, having raised the most donations for VDSA.

The event at the Altria Theater also featured a silent auction, dinner, and dance party. Attended by hundreds in recognition of VDSA’s 40th Anniversary, moving stories of the association’s impact on families around the Commonwealth had audience members in tears.

WATCH: Highlights from Dancing with the Local Stars Spring Gala in Richmond

Highlights from Dancing with the Local Stars Spring Gala in Richmond

At the time of VDSA’s founding, the life expectancy of a person with Down syndrome was only 25 years. Due in part to advocacy organizations and advances in medical care, the life expectancy is now over 60.

To learn more about VDSA or make a donation, visit

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