It’s not as easy as it looks. And ‘it’ would be competing in a dance competition-without having had years of formal training. The annual Dancing With Calgary Stars features well-known Calgarians being partnered with young dance competition students for an evening of fun and philanthropy. Brain-child of Calgary Dance Academy’s Dawn Litzenberger, Dancing With Calgary Stars has seen the likes of yours truly (Bill “Terror Tango” Brooks) and Alfred “Bull Fighter” Balm, to name but a few, take to the stage with our learned dance partners to dazzle guests with our dance routines perfected after hours and hours of rehearsal. Dazzle and perfected may be a bit of a stretch. And I can tell you from personal experience, it really is not as easy as it looks on television.
This year, the 5th annual, held Nov 30 at the BMO Centre, raised funds to support young Calgary dancers vying for a position on the podium at the 2017 Canadian Ballroom Dance finals as well as to help vulnerable families and children in our city by supporting CUPS programming. A perfect pairing if there ever was one.
Calgary stars and their fabulous young dance partners taking to the stage this night included: Chad “Ready to Rumba” Robinson; Counc. Andre “Jumpin’ Jive” Chabot; Counc. Sean “Samba Man” Chu; Kathy “El Toro” Hays; Irene “Waltzing Wonder” Besse; Pat “Rumba Queen” Moore; and Michelle “Cha Cha Cutie” Cameron. Audience participation determined the winner and the decision was unanimous-all the competitors were winners this night.
Guests in attendance cheering on their favourite star included: Laureen Harper and Ann McCaig; Patti and Larry O’Connor; CUPS’ Carlene Donnellly, Dean Schroeder and Prab Lashar; Calgary Public Library Foundation vice-president Brent Buechler and his wife Vicki; Pat “Rumba Queen” Moore’s husband Sherrold and their daughter Anstice’s Cynthia Moore; Rocky View Development Council board member Nancy Calvin; Sen. (Ret.) Dan Hays; Michelle “Cha Cha Cutie” Cameron’s family comprised of husband Allan Coulter, daughter Grace Coulter and mom Jacqueline Cameron; Calgary Stampede Foundation vice-president and previous dance competitor Sarah Hayes; past dance competitor Alfred Balm and his wife Phyllis Balm; YWCA Calgary’s Deanna Holt; outstanding philanthropists Don and Ruth Taylor; Counc. Sean Chu’s cheering section-daughters Sienna and Jasmine Chu; CUPS board chair Michael Lang; and others pictured at right.