Monday, March 11, 2013

A Great Night For The Third Annual "Dancing With The ARK Stars"-Eight Residents Danced For Charity

I have to admit I am not a big fan of Dancing with the Stars, and not because I have anything against dancing. I have been known to "bust a move" and "get down" once in a while at wedding receptions or social clubs. Watching it on TV just isn't my cup of tea, but for a good cause I would make an exception. That is, not to watching it on TV, but to being a spectator at such an event. Summerville, on March 9 starting at 7 pm, hosted such an event, The ARK Third Annual "Dancing With The ARK's Stars", at Pinewood Preparatory School, 1114 Orangeburg Road. The good cause was The ARK, Alzheimer's Family Support Services. General admission tickets for the event were $50 per person in advance or $60 at the door. The ticket price included heavy hors d'oeuvres, open bar, a silent auction, and ballroom dance demonstrations by Carolina Dancesport Dance Studios.

Eight of Summerville's notable residents were paired with professional dancers from Carolina Dancesport. Mildred Blanton(Retired Real Estate Professional), Cammy Groome(Principal at Newington Elementary School), Margi Pizarro(Attorney at Pizarro Law Firm), Ellen Priest(Publisher, Summerville Communications), Con Chellis IV(Owner, Allstate Insurance Agency), Bill Summers(Director/VP, Vision Financial Group), Jordy Tupper(Contractor, G Tupper III Construction), Richard Waring IV(Chief, Summerville Fire Department) were the eight brave souls willing to put it all-on-the-line. This was Carolina Dancesport's second time. It is located at 1850 Wallace School Road in Charleston.

Bill and Aura Lee
The Donovan's and Friends
Chris of Summerville Journal Scene and Paul Zoeller
After parking my truck upon arrival, I was escorted by golf cart to the entrance where the arriving patrons were greeted by photographers and attendants. It was like walking the red carpet for the Oscar's. - Well, maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but for visual purposes it will suffice. I paid the sixty dollars and made my grand entrance. The men were decked out in suit and tie. The women in formal dresses and gowns, for the most part. Being the nonconformist I am, I wore a blue, argyle sweater and tan dress pants. I pressed some flesh and rubbed shoulders with the who's who of Summerville while I enjoyed the all-you-can-eat buffet, which was very tasty. Cheese platters, little meatballs, some very good tasting fish fillets, a variety of other meats, and other side dishes you would expect for such a spread.

Chelsea and Aura Lee
A half hour into the festivities, the host alerted everyone it was time for the first round of the dancing contest to begin. There was a sizable dance floor laid out with elegant, dark blue covered tables skirting its perimeter on three sides reserved for family members and close friends of the dancers. The rest of the spectators sat in the bleachers along the wall. An elevated judges table was set up on the fourth side. There were three judges, just like the televised version of Dancing with the Stars.
Bill and Teresa

The lights were darkened and the first couple was introduced. Cammy Groome, the school principal, took to the floor with her preselected professional dancer. The pair danced to "Hot For Teacher" and Cammy moved like no principal I have ever seen. The judges gave her 9's. My very good friend, Bill Summers, was second in line. Bill and his instructor Teresa Rogers danced to C-Lo Green's "Forget You". The judges in the end gave Bill and his partner 8's. Unfortunately, Bill did not make it to the final round, and that was perfectly all right with him. In conclusion, with a sigh of relief he said, "I'm feeling pretty good, now that it is over." Put a cell phone in Bill's hand and he will dance circles around any consultant or sales rep.
Jordy and Lorna

After all the couples were judged and scored, Con Chellis, Cammy Groome, Ellen Priest and Jordy Tupper were selected for the dance off. It was now up to the audience to vote. Con Chellis and Lorna Parkinson took honors doing a swing routine. Although in my humble opinion, Jordy Tupper and Lorna Parkinson's routine to Kenny Chesney's "She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy" was the most entertaining. In the end, Mildred Blanton proved that age and graceful sophistication go hand in hand and was awarded the People's Choice.
Ellen and Josh
Mildred Blanton
The Master of Ceremonies, Steve Mandell, brought added energy to the proceedings and hands down could give Tom Bergeron of Dancing With The Stars a run for the money. The silent auction offered some unique items for bid and the open bar loosened things up. I had a few rum and cokes that made me a little light on my feet and put some tango in my step.

It was a great night of entertainment and fun for a wonderful cause. I look forward to next years edition of "Dancing with the ARK Stars". Enjoy the pictures. 

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