The celebrity men of Dancing with the Pagosa Stars


By Danyelle Leentje

Seeds of Learning

The stars of Dancing with the Pagosa Stars (DWTPS) 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 Pagosa’s Seeds of Learning. Three of these fabulous stars are Brooks Linder, Mike Garding and Dan Englund. 

Brooks Lindner

Lindner, aka “Brooks-i,” has been a live music performer his whole life. He has long been a student of the marquis style of dance which originated in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. In order to train for Dancing with the Pagosa Stars, Lindner has been on a strict dietary regime of carambola, pepitas and tequila. He would not be where he is today without the patronage of Bob Brobst who saved Lindner from the Mata Atlântica in Uruguay.

Mike Garding

Garding explained, “I grew up in Minnesota, with 10 brothers and sisters, where I learned to love the outdoors. I graduated from the University of Minnesota in engineering after which I went to work as a field engineer in the energy business, eventually working my way into executive management, while living around the world with my wife and two daughters. I have now been retired four years and have one granddaughter with two more on the way. On several occasions during my career, I contemplated quitting to become an elementary school teacher, where I thought I could really make a positive impact on young kids lives and society in general. I often regret not following through on that desire. DWTPS and the contribution to Seeds of Learning is a wonderful way for me to help fulfill my desire to help young kids in learning. They are our future and deserve a good start.”

Dan Englund

Englund explained, “Big city to little town; Chicago and its steel skylines. Pagosa: where I wake every morning and get to watch as God paints a brand new canvas. The garden we live in. Seeds that we sow; hoping as they grow. But who will till the soil and work the hoe?

“Been here since 1999. This amazing place with so many beautiful people. Maybe this carpenter could give back, just a little.”

These three male stars will be joined by three more 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 the stars and their coaches and vote for your favorites. 

Voting is now open — start voting online today at: Each $1 vote moves a star closer to winning the fabulous trophy and bragging rights for the next year. You can vote for as many stars as you would like as many times as you want. But, more importantly, all the proceeds go to sustaining Seeds of Learning’s tuition mission to provide affordable, high-quality early childhood education in Pagosa Springs.

All tickets include voting for your favorite star, a buffet dinner served by our fine-dining restaurant, a fabulous show which is sure to entertain and open dancing with the Tim Sullivan Band playing during voting. Ticket sales will open to the public at 9 a.m. on July 14. Watch our website and the DWTPS Facebook page at for specific instructions on ticket purchase. 

Seeds of Learning is a nonprofit, standalone preschool serving approximately 58 preschoolers year-round, ages 2.5 to 5 years old. The critical proceeds from this event are what make a sliding scale tuition possible for the families in our community. Please help support the most vulnerable population in Pagosa Springs — our children.