Valdosta Daily Times

February 14, 2014

Dancing with the Stars

VSU fundraiser ready for third year

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — For another year, eight folks take a big step, then another step, then another step, 1-2-3, 1-2-3, 1-2-3 ...

Already, these eight individuals and their experienced dance partners are likely rehearsing for the Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta 2014.

The show isn’t until April 12, but the tickets for this popular event will be available this weekend.

So, what is Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta?

While it’s loosely based on the TV show “Dancing with the Stars,” the Valdosta version is no competition. There are no prizes. At least not for the regional celebrities dancing in the program. Instead, the winners are VSU theatre, dance and music students.

The event matches the VSU Music Scholarship Alliance with VSU Theatre & Dance to raise scholarship funds for the university’s performing arts students. The first two “star” events raised $26,000 for student scholarships, split evenly between the two departments.

While not a competition, the dance teams do receive votes for every ticket they sell and audience members vote by cash donations throughout the event. There is an audience choice award, but that’s the extent of the event’s competitive nature.

This year’s show offers a change or two. There will not be a group dance this year, but audiences will find plenty of dancing. And possibly some unexpected people making those dance moves.

This year’s scheduled participants, star and pro dance partners: Jeff Stewart, founder of the Father-Daughter Dance, with Brooke Butler; former Valdosta police chief Frank Simons with Ashley Thompson; Air Force Col. Jim Travis with Hannah Moore; Bubba Highsmith of Bubba Highsmith Insurance Agency with Jami McDonald; Angela Crance of Wiregrass Georgia Technical College with Ethan Parker; Tammy Eunice of the James Eunice Foundation with Josh Barcol; VSU First Lady Dacia Charlesworth with Alvaro Leyva; Quinn Vallotton of VSU Advancement with Matty Hogan.

The stars and their dance experts will decide on a style and the music for their dance. They are given only a few minutes each for their performances. And they rehearse in preparation for the audience.

This event has sold out the past two years and is expected to again as it provides a fun evening and funds for scholarships.


Third Annual Valdosta State University Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta tickets go on sale Saturday, Feb. 15. The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 12, VSU Student Union Grand Ballroom. Limited tickets are available, contact Jeani Synyard, or call (229) 244-3036.