MC Hammer to judge contest between Cal athletes and pro dancers 

MC Hammer, Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin and two former 49ers will be among the judges at a competition in San Francisco on Thursday night between members of a contemporary dance company and top student-athletes at UC Berkeley.

The fourth annual event, titled “Toe to Toe: The Grand Slam,” will pit 10 to 12 dancers from San Francisco-based ODC Dance Commons against UC Berkeley athletes, including swimmers and soccer and volleyball players, in a series of challenges to determine which group has better athletic skills.

The contest gauges abilities including strength, speed, agility and endurance. UC Berkeley athletes won the competition last year.

The highlight of the evening will be the athletes and dancers coming together in choreography similar to “Dancing with the Stars,” along with pregame and halftime performances by the Golden Bears Straw Hat marching band and the Cal Dance Team.

Proceeds will benefit ODC Dance Commons and Cal Athletics.

Investment banker Warren Hellman, who helped launch the competition four years ago, will host Thursday’s games. Judges include former San Francisco 49ers Ronnie Lott and Harris Barton, and choreographers Jess Curtis, Joanna Haigood and Margaret Jenkins.

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason Center. Tickets are $125 general admission, $25 for students, dancers and kids.

 

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