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    Posted April 19, 2014 by
    SamanthaJane

    Dancing with the Stars

     
    On Tuesday, April 15th, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s Ballroom Dance Team—founded by student Nicole Bottelson—hosted an event titled “Dancing with the Stars.” During this event, five UW-L professors were each partnered with a member of the ballroom dance team, and joined them on stage to compete to be the audience’s favorite dancer. These five professors, or “stars,” included: Terence Smith (Communication Studies), Bart VanVoorhis (Psychology), Susan Crutchfield (English), Dawn Rouse (Early Childhood Education), and Grace Deason (Psychology).

    When audience members bought tickets to attend the show, they received three items: entry to the event, a free dance lesson with the ballroom dance team, and two votes. Votes could be used to help their favorite dance couple win. If they wished, attendees were able to buy extra votes at 25 cents apiece. In the end, the votes were combined with the judges’ scores and the couple (namely, the “star”) with the highest score, of course, won; the purchasing of extra votes ended up being a large determining factor for the winner of the competition. But more on that later.

    The show kicked off with an Argentine tango from Susan Crutchfield and her partner Alex Perronne. This dance was full of drama and suspense, both of which the audience seemed to thoroughly enjoy. Next, Terence Smith performed a foxtrot with Gwen Rosenbush. Their performance had an abundance of dips, stage-acting (even with props), and fun tricks. This duo catered to the audience, and the audience surely ate it up. Next, Dawn Rouse was paired up with Jeff Mueller. This couple danced a very slow, graceful waltz and incorporated some beautiful developés into their routine. Although the dance was mellow, Rouse had many supporters in the audience whom inspired everyone to boisterously cheer the couple on. The fourth dance was a magical Viennese Waltz, performed by Grace Deason and Fabian Heinen. This fast-paced waltz entertained and captivated the audience perfectly. The final performance was a fierce and fiery tango by Bart VanVoorhis and Katy Pence. This couple stormed the stage and truly commanded the audience’s attention with their routine. The audience was very receptive to this final dance, and cheered enthusiastically for the dancers.

    During intermission, the audience was invited to take a break, stretch their legs, and purchase some last-minute votes for their favorite couple. They were also invited to go onstage with the ballroom dance team and the “stars” to learn some fun dance moves. The audience had a great time letting loose with the dancers.

    Not only was the audience wonderfully entertained by the “stars” and their partners, but they were also treated to guest performances when the show resumed. They watched routines performed by: The LC Hip Hop group, ballroom dance couples from USA Dance Rochester and Fred Astaire Rochester, and a group of dancers from Nicole Bottelson’s School of Dance. Additionally, ballroom dance team members Fabian Heinen and Gwen Rosenbush performed a special salsa routine, followed by a contemporary piece performed by a student of Kinesis Dance Team.

    At the end of the night, the votes and scores were counted—almost 1,000 votes had been purchased since the start of the event. The results showed that the audience’s favorite dancer, by a landslide, was Terence Smith. He was followed by Bart VanVoorhis in second place, Susan Crutchfield in third, Dawn Rouse in fourth, and Grace Deason in fifth place.

    The money raised from this event is helping to support and fund UW-L Ballroom Dance Team. This “Dancing with the Stars” event will be held annually, so be sure to get your tickets next year!

    If you wish to learn more about the dance team and/or their various events, feel free to email the team’s President and Co-Captain, Bethany Schur at: schur.beth@uwlax.edu or Vice President and Co-Captain, Katy Pence at: pence.katy@uwlax.edu.

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