Kelowna's Stars hit the dance floor

Dancing with Stars Kelowna style is coming back again for the 6th annual “Swinging with the Stars” event.

Once again local celebrities will be grabbing their dancing shoes and competing for charity on the dance floor performing waltz, disco and even hip-hop.

The event, based on the popular television show, pairs professional dance instructors with local celebrities in a fundraising event to support the Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA).

Over the years, the event has become the ‘talk of the town’ says Swinging with the Stars coordinator, Jan Woolsey.

“We had no idea this event would have such longevity. We are heading into our sixth year and already have dancing stars lined up for 2015. This year we are shaking things up by including dance performances outside the ballroom genre.”

Local celebrities for 2014 who will ‘strut their stuff’ include:

  • Re-Max Realtors, Julie and Wolfe Krieg
  • Moxie’s Executive General Manager Lonnie Van Diest
  • The Wedding Café owner and Westjet employee, Jenn Taylor;
  • President of Loyal’s Hair Therapy, Loyal Wooldridge and partner Ian Roth Junior Transportation Engineer, Opus International Consultants
  • Dr. Christian Brix, Chiropractor, Brix Family Chiropractic & Wellness Center and his fiancé, Jessica Turanec, Development and Events Coordinator at Aberdeen Prep School as well as a fitness instructor at The Woman’s Place
  • Marion Henselwood, President COHA Board of Directors & Branch Manager at Valley First/West Kelowna and Peachland.

The dancing stars are currently in training with local professional dance instructors.

The professional dance instructors involved this year include:

  • Chris Thorburn, Kelowna Ballroom
  • Carley Bailey and Chisa Glendenning, Canadian School of Ballet
  • Diane Pratt; Samantha Sambrielaz, Latinesque Ballroom and Latin Dance Studio
  • Melodie Sharma, Kelowna Dance and Performing Arts.

After their training is complete the dancers will showcase their choreographed routine at the event and the audience in attendance will vote for their favourite dancer that night.

As well, following the same premise as the TV show, there will be three judges on hand to present their comments on the performance. Three trophies will be presented – Most Pledges Raised, Audience Choice and Judges Choice.

“Not many events bring the whole community together as this one does and we are most grateful for the support that this event brings to our organization,” said Susan Steen, Executive Director of COHA.

Tickets go on sale Friday, January 17. And the show takes place March 1 in the Delta Grand Okanagan Ballroom.

Another facet of the competition is an opportunity for the public to get involved by pledging for a celebrity.

Tickets are $200 and available at the COHA office #104 – 1456 St. Paul Street, or by calling 250-763-5511.

COHA is a community-based non-profit organization that provides services and supports, through trained volunteers, to individuals living with our dying from advanced illnesses and their loved ones.


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