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Community stars come out to dance at Kingswood Arts Center

FIRST PLACE in Dancing with the Community Stars went to Dr. Shawn Silva and Kingswood High School senior Katelynn Staples for their routine to the Bee Gee’s “You Should Be Dancing.” (Heather Terragni photo) (click for larger version)
January 24, 2013
WOLFEBORO — For those in the audience at Saturday night's first Dancing With the Community Stars event presented by The Wolfeboro Area Creative Arts Center and Kingswood Theater, it was fun to see the familiar faces of the participants performing. Whether there to support a family member or friend or just to watch the people we know in a professional manner step out of their element and into the spot light the friendly competition, proved high-spirited and amusing.

With less than 10 hours to become acquainted as partners, learn choreography and rehearse, the "community stars" and their dance partners competed in costume on the Kingswood Arts Center stage in a style mimicking that of the television show of its namesake.

Emcee duo Charlie Hossack and Patricia Edson introduced and interviewed each of the dance partners while "celebrity" judges Ray Lord, Scott Giessler and Erin Lovett-Sherman critiqued and scored each performance before audience members had a chance to vote for their favorites.

The contestants

Wolfeboro's Parks and Rec. Director Ethan Hipple and his partner Nicole Buttermore were first to take the stage with their number "Houdini." After Hipple's first time dancing on stage. he joked that he was happy it was over with.

Allan "Lanny" Bailey, who boogied to the upbeat "Zoot Suit Riot" with dance instructor Judy Hernandez, dazzled the judges both with his fancy wingtips and sincerity in crediting his dance partner for his accomplishments on the stage.

Pediatrician Dr. Harley Heath and his partner Rebecca Gronski darkened the mood with the ominous love-inspired "Phantom of the Opera," after which Heath admitted he probably had the least talent of any of the contestants. Gronski however proclaimed that within their first hour of rehearsals Heath had had the dance steps down.

During a sexy performance of "Cha Cha," Carol George and her dance partner Joe Iadonisi wowed the judges and won second place for their sultry moves. Judge Lovett Sherman said their dance steps were right on and the theatrical element of their performance was complemented.

Wolfeboro Cooperative Nursery School director and teacher Paula Bechard danced to third place by shaking it to the ever-popular "Gangnam Style" with her partner Randall Avis. Afterwards Avis joked that the pair's biggest struggle was getting Bechard to let him take the lead, something she came around to just in time, he said.

Dr. Shawn Silva of Silva Family Dentistry and Kingswood High School senior Katelynn Staples took home first place for their routine to the Bee Gee's "You Should Be Dancing." Staples said she couldn't have asked for a better partner for the disco ditty; however Silva, for his part, said he's better suited for country line dancing and dancing at family weddings.

Unfortunately, due to illness, a seventh dance couple, Nancy Moulton and Michelle Gill, were unable to attend.

After the six performances intermission was held during which audience members could meet the dancers and cast their votes at stations set up throughout the lobby. Each person was given one ticket upon arriving however additional tickets, which each equaled one vote, could be purchased as well.

While the final votes were counted audience members were treated to a showcase of talent including performances by both Diana Aponte of the Kingswood Theater and Wolfeboro Area Creative Arts Center students.

Aponte sang "My White Knight" from the Kingswood Theater's fall 2012 production of "The Music Man" and students of the Wolfeboro Area Creative Arts Center performed "Friend Like Me" from this past summer's production of "Aladdin."

The owner of Love, Laugh and Ballroom Dance Center in Meredith performed a dance with a student of hers, Jim Miller, and Erin Lovett Sherman of Artfest performed what was very likely the Center's first aerial show.

Hossack and Edson later called to the stage and thanked the three women who made the evening possible thru their efforts to recruit the talent, coordinate schedules, line up sponsors, and tend to all the other minute details that added up to the event. Along with a committee of volunteers Kim Kalled, Suzanne Matos and Susan Fuller created a night of entertainment that left the audience with lasting memories and plenty of material for a good joke next time they see the "community stars" out and about in town.

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