Cheryl Powe: Heritage Ball 2016 Interview

Hi Cheryl.  It’s almost that time again.  Let’s start with the stuff I’m most excited about … The performances this year.  Chante Moore, Glenn Jones, and Fel Davis are all scheduled to perform.  Do you know who’s performing on which day yet, or is it a surprise?

Hmmmmm, well yes I do T, but that’s a surprise and the only way to find out when these artists are performing is to attend the Heritage Ball February 18-21, 2016.

What is your favorite song by each of these artists?

As a Stepper, you can’t go wrong with any of these talented artists because they each have several great songs that we love to Step to but if I have to choose, I would have to go with Chante Moore “Old Skool Lovin,” Glenn Jones “At Last,” and Fel Davis “Special.”

Last year was great but I know you all said that a few tweaks to the program were coming for this year.  Tell me some of the changes GDI made this year to make things easier for the patrons.

Well, the first tweak at the top of our to do list was Transportation.  GDI recognized the need and wanted to add another option in getting our supporters to the host hotel which of course you know is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. We relied heavily on Marta which is the rapid rail system located in the airport and an economical way in getting to the host hotel in about 15 minutes however, not everyone wanted to ride the train so in the interim, GDI went to the drawing board in search of a transportation company that would accommodate the needs of our out of town guests and getting them to the Marriott Marquis and then back to the airport.  We also wanted a company that could handle a few of the Heritage Ball off site activities (skating, after parties etc.) at a heavily discounted rate. We are pleased to announce that our new Transportation Partner is the Super Shuttle, which is well known throughout the country.  If anyone is interested in this mode of transportation, go to our website at and book your transportation reservation.  By the way, renting a car is still not necessary.

Secondly, moving flawlessly throughout the Host Hotel was definitely a learning curve and getting use to the surroundings was a bit of a challenge, even down to which elevator to get on. The Marriott Marquis is a beautiful and massive hotel with over 1600 guest rooms and a tremendous amount of meeting space.  Our supporters didn’t have that “meet up” area where they could laugh, talk and hug all of their Facebook friends or people they hadn’t seen in a long time from other cities.  Of course GDI recognized it at the conclusion of HB2015; we discussed it thoroughly and came up with the decision to simply carve out the space and direct everyone to a central location hence; the Heritage Ball Hangout was born.  Our supporters can enjoy that excitement again this year by coming to the 10th floor “SKYLINE LEVEL.” This will be our meet up place where you will find a lot of HB2016 happenings. You can play cards, chess, checkers, dominos, listen to music from our online radio stations, have a drink, heat up that late nite snack, pickup Will Call tickets, sign up for the road race and so much more. We’re definitely looking forward to it.

Wow!  That’s a great idea Cheryl.  I see you all have been putting your heads together.  You all are obviously seasoned vets now.  To that end, GDI has been hosting this event at a high level for a long time.  I’m sure you’ve learned some lessons over the years.  What is something that you know now that you didn’t know when you first started hosting the Heritage Ball?

I would have to say the time and sacrifice.  We are not the same organization we were 8 years ago.  We started out as a 1-day event, then it became a 3-day event now it’s a 4 day event that is on the scale of a convention.   Being a promoter is like owning a business and in order for it to be successful, you have to work on it almost every day of the week in some form or fashion.  GDI prides itself in providing a high level of service for the Steppin Community and when someone says, I can’t wait to come to the Heritage Ball, I look forward to coming every year or I’ve heard so much about the Heritage Ball, this is my first time coming, all of those sincere words are what fuel our passion and actions.  We try to ensure the level of excitement is there and exceed expectations year after year; which makes it all worthwhile for each member of GDI.

You travel to a lot of Steppin events all over the nation.  What is the one thing you feel every major Steppin event should have, and that you make sure GDI does every year?

That’s easy T.  Customer Service.  The event is always about each and every person that comes through your door.  It should be apparent to your supporters that you appreciate them arranging their schedules, taking time off from work, traveling near and far just to attend your event. Also equally important is trying to give your supporters their money’s worth. No one wants to feel at the end of day that they spent money but were very unhappy with the product each and every year.  We strive to add value.

By now, most people know about the Heritage Ball and how awesome it is.  Even so, it’s always great to give them a reminder.  Why should people make sure they attend this year’s GDI Heritage Ball?

There’s something for everyone.  We have 9 of the hottest Masters of Music in the business that will be in the house for you to get your step on, 8 smoking parties on 3 mega dance floors, 36 Premier Instructors, 14 Specialty Workshops, Heath & Wellness program, Road Race, Seminars, Family Feud (new), Exquisite Vendor’s Row, GDI’s Triple Threat Online Radio Stations broadcasting LIVE all weekend long, a Concert Sound Stage, Live Entertainment by 3 of the hottest Artists, the All Star Stepper’s Challenge (a crowd favorite hosted by YOU), Chapel Service, dedicated Ambassadors and GDI’s well renown “SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY”……just to name a few.  Heritage Ball – it’s not just a Steppin’ Event – it’s a Steppin’ Experience!

Thank you T for the opportunity to talk to your listeners.  Keep doing what you do, we need to know what’s going on in our Steppin’ world and I appreciate you keeping us current.  See you in ATLANTA!!!

Cheryl Powe 750