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Hundreds of Ballet Dancers Break Guinness World Record in Central Park

By DNAinfo Staff on August 3, 2010 8:30am

By Gabriela Resto-Montero

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

CENTRAL PARK — Hundreds of ballet dancers gathered in Central Park on Monday to break a Guinness World Record.

A total of 230 volunteer dancers broke a Guinness World Record when they stood en pointe for one minute and seven seconds at the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park, besting the previous record of 220 dancers.

"I want to be a small part of history, get your name in a book somewhere" said Allie Pawlaukojc, 20, a dancer who traveled to the event from Long Island, before the attempt.

"And when else is something like this going to happen?" Pawlukojc said.

American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Michele Wiles and Craig Salstein led the record attempt, which was also a fundraiser for the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club dance program.

Dancers from the club's ballet school, which is part of the Angelina Ballerina Stars of Tomorrow program, performed before the attempt.

Although 240 dancers registered for the marathon group en pointe, the combination of heat and Central Park concrete made it impossible for 10 of them to finish out the minute.

"I'm worried about standing en pointe for a whole minute," said Rahcel Ackerman, 13, who nevertheless ended up standing for the two attempts.

The first attempt, where Salstein led the group in a choreographed routine, went just fine, but the group decided to give the record a second try just to be on the safe side.

In the end, Amanda Mochan, from the Guinness World Records, handed a record plaque to event organizer, and dance photography legend, Gene Schiavone.

Organizers for the event planned to donate all of the donations to the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club.