Many of us are familiar with the television show Dancing with the Stars, where professional ballroom dancers are paired up with, uh, slightly less talented celebrities to perform for a voting panel of judges. What could make this show more interesting? Possibly watching our very own local celebrities learn to dance the Cha-Cha on stage? Yes, I think so.
Joined by the Utah Ballroom Dance Company, Grays Harbor College Foundation is hosting this repeat appearance of Dancing With Our Stars. While the event will again be held at the Bishop Center, this year’s event is different since it will be a fundraiser for the Grays Harbor College Foundation’s World Class Scholars Program.
Each of the six local celebrities will spend a week training with a professional dancer in order to learn a completely choreographed dance to perform in front of a live audience on Saturday, April 26. These “stars” will obviously have varying levels of dance skills and will likely have some challenges to overcome in the course of a week, in order to perform some of the quick dance steps and lifts in each dance. The dancers will also be provided costumes in order to further impress the judges.
One of the local stars will be Natasha Martens, Manager at Coastal Women’s Health Center and chair of the Grays Harbor Community Hospital Foundation. She hasn’t danced in nearly 21 years but is excited to participate after seeing the show last year. She hopes that her nerves don’t get the better of her but says “I’m a competitive person, but in this case, as long as I don’t screw up too badly, I’ll be happy.”
The judging panel is also made of local celebrities. To avoid any underground bribery, the names remain a secret until closer to the event. Throughout the performance, judges will give feedback to the dancing couples and the audience will have the opportunity to vote as well. Plus the professional dancers will perform group numbers in order to show the audience how skilled they truly are when they aren’t in the company of our beloved amateurs.
The show will be slightly different this year from last, in order to provide opportunities to do a little more fundraising. Besides the competing performances, last year’s stars will be welcomed back to the stage to perform, plus the general public will be able to learn and perform in the opening number for an additional $50.
As Jane Goldberg of Grays Harbor College explained, this opportunity is “perfect for someone who has always wanted to be dancing on stage without the pressure of competing!” Those interested in signing up should the GHC Foundation office at 360.538.4243 or email@example.com.
The College Foundation will also present a “Community Spirit” award, which will be awarded to the participant who gains the greatest contributions in their individual donation boxes in the Bishop Center foyer during the performance.
Tickets are selling quickly and are expected to sell out. Various levels of tickets are available from General Seating to tickets that include champagne, backstage passes and recognition in the program.
All donations, including the tickets, Community Spirit votes and other opportunities go directly to help grow the Grays Harbor College Foundation’s World Class Scholars endowment fund. Tickets are on sale now online or by phone at 360.538.4066
This year’s participants include: Lynn Kessler (former State Representative and GHC Foundation Board Member), Lisa Kless (Fitness Director at the YMCA of Grays Harbor), Natasha Martens (Manager at Coastal Women’s Health Center and Grays Harbor Community Hospital Foundation Chair), Dr. Steve Reznicek (Urologist and Surgeon at Grays Harbor Community Hospital), Tim Martin (President of Harbor Pacific and GHC Foundation Board Member) and Charlie Quigg (Project Manager with Quigg Brothers).