By Dee McPeek
Special to The PREVIEW
Get out your fancy duds and mark your calendar to attend the new event of the summer, Dancing with the Pagosa Stars. On July 14, local Pagosa Celebrities will slip into their costumes and dance their hearts out, competing to raise critically needed funds for Seeds of Learning.
These generous celebrities are all people that are recognized as leaders in our community. They will partner with professional coaches to present a dazzling night of dancing and fun. You will be able to buy tickets to support your favorite dancer and vote as many times as you want, with each vote costing $1. The celebrity raising the most money from ticket sales and voting will get bragging rights and take home the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy at the end of the night.
The identities of the chosen celebrities are under wraps for now, but their professional coaches, who will teach them a dance and make them look great, are being spotlighted on the Dancing With The Pagosa Stars Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Dancingstarspagosa/. Our professional coaches include Casey Rumberger and Angela Wirth from Pagosa Springs; Sharina Ramsay-Adams, Aisylin Lowe, George Yeager and Connor Elliott from Durango; and Paul Thompson from Bayfield.
Stay up to date on all the event activity at the Dancing With The Pagosa Stars Facebook page.
We are also extremely pleased to welcome two amazing directors and choreographers who are working hard to make this night special. Ali Whitman is a national award-winning director/choreographer who brings over 30 years of expertise. She is a highly sought-after industry professional who has recently moved to Pagosa Springs from the San Diego area. Her productions have won major awards in the San Diego and Inland Empire areas and we are thrilled to have her help recruiting coaches, working with dance pairs and managing all the show details at the event.
Leslie Carlson has organized the successful Dancing with the Durango Stars for several years, which will be held again on May 5 this year in Durango.
Carlson has been a professional dance instructor for over 20 years. She was formally trained under the tutelage of world-renowned dance and choreography professionals at Arthur Murray Dance Studios. Carlson is versed in teaching a large variety of diverse social dance styles, from dramatic Latin dance variations to swing, waltz and ballroom, country/western and more.
Funds raised from this new event will help Seeds replace critical federal and local government funding that has been lost. Over 80 percent of the children at Seeds cannot afford to pay full tuition to attend school. The future of at-risk 2 1/2- to 5-year-olds lies in the hands of generous individual donors and local businesses.
Look for the unveiling of the celebrity dancers on April 19 in The Pagosa SUN and on Facebook. More details about this incredible evening will follow. Mark your calendar for July 14 to support your favorite Pagosa celebrity and help educate Pagosa’s most vulnerable preschool children all at the same time.
By Dee McPeek