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edge staff writer


We can dance if we want to

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Taking to the stage for 'Dancing Like the Stars'

BANGOR For those who didn't know (or simply haven't been paying attention), I have spent the past two-plus months preparing to participate in 'Dancing Like the Stars,' a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Over these past weeks, I and seven others have been paired up with dance coaches from Chuck and Sue McKay's Back Door Dance Studio, learning to dance and raising money for this very good cause.

On Saturday, all of our hard work came to fruition.

Sixteen dancers took to the Gracie Theatre stage at Husson University to cut our respective rugs. All eight pairs Andrew Hamilton and Amber Saucier; Melissa Kim and Tom McKay; Dolly Perkins and Terence Lee; Dorian Daniels and Dave Kneeland; Nichi Farnham and Josh Theriault; John Osborne and Carole Deschaine; Andre Cushing and Kristy Kerns; Kristy Michaud and myself came together to put on an energetic and enthusiastic show.

The co-masters of ceremonies were Danny Cashman of 'The Nite Show' and Jackie Ward of 'News Center.' Announcing duties were performed by 'Nite Show' announcer Joe Kennedy. Dance judging duties were handled by Terry Leavitt, Annette Lee and the Edge's own columnist Deb Neuman (don't worry everything was above board).

The evening began with each duo performing a routine there were waltzes and cha-chas and tangos and foxtrots and even a polka in an attempt to entertain the crowd and wow the panel of judges. Everyone left it all out on the floor; all of us were lauded for our efforts. 

(In case you were wondering and even if you weren't the rumba that Kristy and I performed was one of only two dances on the night to receive perfect 10s from the judges; Dolly and Terence were the other. Of course, I was dressed like Elmer Fudd and had my shirt open to my navel my strongest weapon has always been my shamelessness. All jokes aside, I'm very proud of my partner and myself.)

Round two brought the Swing Jam, where each couple took the floor for a 30-45 second segment of Brian Setzer's 'Rock This Town' and put their swing on display. Some fairly fancy footwork was flashed by everyone; I must admit that I may have gotten carried away with my enthusiasm, careening around the stage with my partner slung over my shoulder. 

After that, the judges tallied their scores and combined them with the final numbers from our respective fundraising efforts. Meanwhile, we took to the stage one last time for a grand finale, performing a group number to the dulcet tones of Psy's 'Gangnam Style.' We did that horsey dance, among other things let me assure you, you're sorry if you missed it.

At the end of the night, a winner and runner-up were named. John and Carole took the top prize, while Andre and Kristy finished in second place (my partner and I finished in a strong sixth). However, the real winner was the Komen Foundation - in total, the event raised over $40,000 for the cause.

It was an absolute pleasure to get to know all of these people who generously gave of their time and effort. The hard work and dedication was evident throughout the evening; everyone involved went above and beyond. And it's not just the dancers; the MCs, the judges, the announcer, the technical crew, the event organizers not to mention the audience and other donors everyone involved put his or her best foot forward. 


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