Valdosta Daily Times

April 1, 2014

‘Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta’ almost ready to shine for scholarships

Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Seating remains available for the Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta.

Since announcing the line-up earlier this year, only one star has had to be replaced. Air Force Col. Jim Travis had to withdraw due to his work responsibilities, according to organizers. Air Force Lt. Col. Pete Dominicis will be dancing with expert Hannah Moore.

The other stars and dance experts include Jeff Stewart, founder of the Father-Daughter Dance, with Brooke Butler; former Valdosta police chief Frank Simons with Ashley Thompson; 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.

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, but there will be a parade of dancers featuring this year’s stars as well as local celebrities from the past two dances.

The stars and their dance experts each choose a style and the music for their dances. 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 is scheduled for Saturday, April 12, VSU Student Union Grand Ballroom. Limited tickets are still available, contact Jeani Synyard, or call (229) 244-3036.