This Saturday, join Piedmont Arts for a fabulous fundraiser featuring local celebrities dancing in support of the arts in Martinsville-Henry County. This Dancing with the Stars-style contest features eight teams competing to win the highest score and the big prize-a set of gorgeous mirror ball trophies with hand-turned wooden bases created by Studio 107 artist Terry Mitchell.
Dancing for the Arts will take place live at Martinsville High School Auditorium and will be broadcast live on Star News on Saturday, March 22. Prior to and during the live performance, supporters of the arts are invited to vote (1 vote = $1) for their favorite team. Each vote raises money to support Piedmont Arts programming in Martinsville-Henry County. Much like Dancing with the Stars, 50% of each team's final score is tallied from votes and 50% is tallied from marks awarded by the judges during the contest.
Tickets are $10 for General Admission or $25 for VIP Reserved.
The Competing Couples
Scott Allred & Cameron Cooper
Allred is the band director at Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School. Cooper, one of his former students, is a fifth-grade teacher. Allred said he is not a formal dancer, but he danced plenty of hip-hop "back in the '80s." Cooper said she loves to dance and had no hesitation accepting the invitation to participate. They will dance the rumba, a rhythmic dance from Cuba that features swaying of the hips to a Latin beat. Their coaches will be ballroom dancers Wayne and Wanda Wilson of Stuart.
Scott Draper & Terri Younger-Eure
Draper is the Martinsville sheriff, and Younger-Eure is a medical doctor. In his profile statement, Draper said his goal is "not to hurt my partner," to the laughter of the assembled crowd. When Younger-Eure was asked how comfortable she would be dancing with a sheriff, she replied with a chuckle, "No more tickets - no more speeding tickets." They will dance the foxtrot, a smooth progressive dance characterized by long, continuous flowing movements across the dance floor. Their coach will be Jane Leizer, who coached 2012's winning pair, Clay Campbell and Kathy Rogers.
Don Grayson & Tiffany Lawrie
Grayson is a Martinsville ophthalmologist, and Lawrie lives in Martinsville and is the mother of two young girls. In his profile, Grayson wrote, "‘Let us mesh together and kick butt." When asked if she had any secret dance moves she would like to share, Lawrie replied with a twinkle in her eye, "If it's a secret, no." They will dance the cha-cha, a rhythmic Latin dance from Cuba with a lot of hip sway, and will be coached by Catherine Rodenbough, who works at Hollingsworth Dance Studio.
Max Hall & Rhonda Hopkins
Hall is the catering and social media director for Chick-Fil-A. Hopkins works for Martinsville Glass. In his profile, Hall quoted from the movie Dirty Dancing: "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." When told that his partner runs marathons, he replied, "That's scary." Both have acted with TheatreWorks. They will dance the samba, a rhythmic Latin dance often characterized by a bounce with hip motion, coached by Joyce Hankins.
Tommy Hudgins & Tracy Tate
Hudgins is the headmaster at Carlisle School. In his profile, he wrote, "Someone has lost his mind" for nominating him. Tate, of Martinsville, wrote that she would say to the competition, "Bring it on!" They will dance the paso doble, a progressive international Latin dance. Their coaches will be Burt and Flo Jackson, exhibition dancers who compete in ballroom dancing at the national level.
Orion Martin & Jennifer Gravely
Martin is the head football coach at Martinsville High School, and Gravely is the communication specialist for the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation. In his profile, Martin wrote that he would use his athletic moves on the dance floor, whereas Gravely wrote that her dancing experience comes from dancing to Spice Girls and Backstreet Boys music. They will dance the waltz, a dance from 17th-century Europe known for its graceful sway, rise and fall, coached by Leizer.
Monty Montgomery & Judy Hodge
Montgomery, who is retired, played professional baseball for the Kansas City Royals for seven years and a long time ago "was a shagger for a brief decade," he said in his profile. Hodge, a retired music teacher, wrote that she once "got school superintendents to do the turkey tango dance." They will dance the tango, a staccato and seductive dance originally from Argentina, coached by Sue Ann Ehmann. Ehmann is a dance teacher.
Michael Palmer & Amanda Witt
Palmer is the information technology manager for New College Institute, and Witt is the executive director of the Martinsville-Henry County Chamber of Commerce. In his profile, Palmer wrote a warning to the competition: "Watch out - I's a certified dancing machine!" The pair said they were tickled to be matched together: He is a 1998 graduate of Fieldale-Collinsville High School, and she is a 1999 graduate of the school. "Cavalier connection," Palmer added. Palmer and Witt will dance the quick-step, a fast-paced dance of European origin. Rodenbough will be their coach.