The men of Dancing with the Pagosa Stars


    Photo courtesy Tess Wisher
    This year’s Pagosa Stars are excited to strap on their dancing shoes this summer for Seeds of Learning’s Dancing with the Pagosa Stars. In the back row from left to right are Steve Potter, Mike Le Roux and Jason Cox. In the front row are Laura Moore, Evelyn Tennyson and Nicki Smith. Not pictured are Chris Hopkins and Annita Bens.

    By Tess Wisher
    Special to The PREVIEW
    The stars of Dancing with the Pagosa Stars are getting ready to strap on their dancing shoes and prepare for their night on the dance floor. They will be matched with a talented coach who will lead them through this performance of a lifetime to support Seeds of Learning. Four of these fabulous stars are Jason Cox, Chris Hopkins, Mike LeRoux and Steve Potter.
    Cox moved to Pagosa Springs in 2008. In 2013, he left behind a stable life and salary working from home as a software engineer to enter the rough-and-tumble brewpub industry as a co-founder of a local brewery.
    While not much of a dancer beyond the two-step and a crude interpretation of the Running Man, Cox wants to dance in support of Seeds of Learning to help sustain and further the amazing model the school has established in Pagosa Springs. He is constantly amazed at the quality of education the Seeds of Learning school provides the pre-K children of Archuleta County. Cox believes that early childhood education forms a critical foundation for extended later life success.
    After a 32-year career as a petroleum engineer with Chevron and Schlumberger, Hopkins and his wife, Kim, retired and moved to Pagosa Springs a little more than two years ago. When the Hopkins family first moved to Pagosa, they got involved in supporting Seeds of Learning because of the importance of early childhood education to the community and the outstanding service that Lynne Bridges and Seeds provides in particular. Because of this, Hopkins is truly honored to be dancing for this great cause.
    South African born, Mike Le Roux and his wife, Kirsten, moved from Australia to Pagosa Springs in 2013. He is currently the director of emergency operations for the county and has a background as both a civil engineer and a professional ultra endurance athlete. The highlight of his career was winning the Ultraman Triathlon World Championship in 2010, which gave him the opportunity to move to the USA as a permanent resident.
    Le Roux believes that supporting Seeds of Learning and quality early childhood education is in everyone’s best interests.
    As Le Roux said, “It’s an investment in our future to teach them to be good humans!”
    Potter and his wife, Anja, own a local sound and security company. The couple enjoys traveling in their RV, boating, visiting mountain towns and Florida beaches, cooking, cycling and fishing. Seeds has been a customer for years. Steve and Anja feel Lynne Bridges and her staff operate a first-class early childhood education program that benefits everyone in our community. It is an honor for Potter to step out of his comfort zone and participate with this year’s program.
    These four male Stars will be joined with four female stars to compete for the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy. Next week, we will highlight the amazing women.
    You can now go to the Seed’s website at to learn more about all of the Stars and their coaches and vote for your favorites. Each $1 vote moves a star closer to winning the fabulous trophy and bragging rights for the next year. But, more importantly, all the proceeds go to sustaining Seeds of Learning, where preschoolers are expertly prepared for school and for life.
    This year, we have tickets available at $125 which includes a buffet dinner, a complimentary wine glass, a fabulous show and open dancing to Lisa Saunders DJ entertainment. Ticket sales will open to the public at 9 a.m. on May 10. Watch our website and Facebook page for specific instructions on ticket purchase.