Swinging With the Stars!

Astral Media has been a sponsor of “Swinging with the Stars” for the Kelowna Hospice for the past three years. Year one saw Andy and TJ from EZRock waltzing across the floor, year two Andy and TJ took over the role as MC and AM1150 host Phil Johnson entertained on the dance floor, this year Andy and TJ returned as MC and my husband Steve and I were put to the test with a Cha Cha! 

First a salute to all the dancers including:

Lawyer Paul Hergott and his wife Terri who did an Argentine Tango. Impressive! Steve and I would of never gotten through the routine without massive giggle attacks!

Westside Mortgage Broker Philippe Daigle and his pro partner Jeni MacMillan from Latinesque danced with banana’s, a pineapple and strawberries! It was fun to watch and showed off Philippe’s unique flair for fun.

The crowd was on their feet for Boyd Autobody’s Gordie Abougoush! He teamed up with Dance 4Lifes’ Sharon Sebo and they tore up the floor using songs from Grease! TOTAL fun to watch!!

Lorraine McGrath and her pro partner Tom Selzler, from Dance Connections entertained with a West Coast swing. You could see all the work she put in to make it look perfect! Really wonderful to watch.

Jazz singer Anna Jacyszyn and her partner Chris Thorburn from Kelowna Ballroom had a ton of fun,  dresses were ripped off and Anna was spinning over Chris’s head!!   They danced to Donna Summers’ version of Macarthur Park. I was pretty sure Anna was going to blow the roof off the Coast Capri and she did just that! (She’s lucky she didn’t blow off some well places sequins or that would of made a very different show!)

The judges this year were local realtor George Cwiklewski, Tracy Ross from the Bumbershoot Children’s Theatre and Comedian Herb Dixon.  Luckily they only had the options of giving us an 8, 9 or 10!

What was truly wonderful about the night is that 130-thousand 595 dollars was raised this year…. up from last years’ total of around $74-thousand.

It is wonderful to be part of that!!

Dance really isn’t my thing. I LOVE to dance, it feels good and it’s fun but grace and rhythm I was not blessed with! That combined with all the changes happening at work and that Steve had to go to Calgary smack dab in the middle of our training for the boat show left limited lesson time available. We are SO lucky that Warren from Latinisque was our instructor! Patient, funny, and oh so talented he managed to craft together a routine that would work for us and our limited time available!

What did I learn from this experience?  A couple unexpected things.

I learned that my years in a show ring on a horse has paid off in spades as a performer.  In the ring I was taught, very early on, to never let the judges see you cry. Smile! Smile! Smile! This has become my default when performing anything, and with this number it really helped, the smile was plastered on my face as I tried to make sure I could remember what we were doing!

I learned that not knowing how short your skirt is until after the performance when you see it on video is a good thing. (face – palm)

I learned that I have a pre performance routine, that I am accustom to. I know when my nerves hit, I know how they feel, I know how to deal with them, I know they will leave once I start.. I didn’t know all that would change when walking out to perform with someone I love. I have performed with people I care about before, but never with someone who I truly do NOT want to let down, the person who I always want to be proud of me and a person who I usually count on to be in the audience catching my eye to let me know I am doing a great job.

Tears.

Just briefly, but the panic hit and the eyes welled up. A couple deep breaths and I was OK. I realized that in many ways this was Steve’s night, my job was to follow his lead. He loves to dance and he has a wonderful natural ability in front of an audience! My part in this dance was my experience in front of an audience, I would keep us moving no matter what and if it all went off the rails I can improvise my way out of anything. I was what is behind the glass in the “In case of emergency” box.

That glass didn’t need to be broken.

While in the world of dance are performance was horrifying, for what this night was about Steve and I rocked that dance floor. Pink’s “Raise Your Glass” was the perfect song for the crowd, the cause, and our spirit.

Almost $131- Thousand raised for Okanagan Hospice. OUTSTANDING!

Thank you to Total E’clips for breaking out the crimping iron and rocking my 80’s do!! It made the look! Thanks you to Calowna Costumes for all the help with our outfits!! Thank you again as well to Andy and TJ from EZROCK for encouraging us to do this and Warren Eaton from Latinesque for his wonderful tutelage!


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