Dancing stars ready for Kelowna fundraiser

Central Okanagan Hospice Association announces local ‘dancing stars’ in 8th Annual Swinging with the Stars event

  • Dec. 7, 2015 9:00 a.m.

Street funk, salsa, quick-step and African dance are hitting community dance studios once again with local ‘dancing stars’ gearing up for Kelowna’s 8th Annual Swinging with the Stars event in support of the Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA).

This successful event, presented by Bayshore Home Health, Jane Hoffman Group Coldwell Banker Horizon Realty & Small’s Tile and Flooring, is slated for Saturday, March 5th, 2016 at the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort ballroom. The event, based on the television show “Dancing with the Stars”, pairs professional dance instructors with local ‘dancing stars’.

The popular event continues to grow thanks to the support and enthusiasm from the community, said Jan Woolsey, Swinging with the Stars coordinator.

“There still seems to be a lot of life and energy left in producing this event. It is truly amazing to see how the community has embraced it. We have a waiting list of dancers for 2017. We feel we have the momentum to carry the event forward for a few more years at least,” said Woolsey.

The event evolves each year with new dance styles and varied performances. For the second year in a row, an ensemble will perform as part of the dance competition. Last year, the dance genre was Bollywood. This year a street funk routine will be performed by: Steve Bennett, Director, McIntosh Properties; Lindsay Cousins, Instructor, Oranj Dance Fitness; Scott Dedels, Regional Sales Director, Great West Life; Jill Hayes, Clinical Trials Technician, BC Cancer; Brenda Lyall, COHA supporter; Debbie MacMillan, MacMillan Events; & Phred Martin, Splash: Design. The ensemble will be coached by Jennifer Large, Canadian School of Ballet. Other performers this year include, physicians, Dr. Jane Rishi and Dr. Edward Solano; coached by Carley Bailey, Canadian School of Ballet; Dawn Balic, fitness instructor, Body by Balic; partnered with Jaime Cuberos & coached by Samantha Sambrielaz, Latinesque Ballroom and Latin Dance Studio; Sharon Hughes-Geekie, Bayshore Home Health Area Director partnered with Jennifer Large, Canadian School of Ballet; Curt Quigley, Managing Partner, Group Venture Inc, partnered with Sharon Sebo, Tango Kelowna; and Geoff Hays, Managing Partner, Hays & Associates and Kasie Hays, Account Manager, Waste Management, coached by Lucy Hazelwood, LUKI Dance Productions.

All 13 community-minded dancing stars are now in training for at least thirty hours of preparation with six local Kelowna professional dance instructors.  The dancers will showcase their choreographed routine at the event. The audience in attendance will vote for their favorite dancer that night. Following the same premise as the TV show, there will be three judges on hand to present comments on the performance. Three trophies will be presented – Most Pledges Raised, Audience Choice and Judges’ Choice.

“Over 1 Million dollars has been raised in the 8 years that Swinging with the Stars has been part of the community – all produced by a committee of passionate volunteers – we are so very grateful for their years of service,” said Susan Steen, Executive Director of COHA.

Another facet of the competition is an opportunity for all of Kelowna to get involved by attending fundraising events hosted by the dance teams/stars from October to February. Beginning December 1st, the public can pledge for their favorite dancing star on the Hospice website: www.swingingwiththestars.ca.

Tickets to the event will go on sale Jan. 15, 2016 for $200/each.

The Central Okanagan Hospice Association (COHA) is a community-based non-profit organization that is creating a community where no one has to die or grieve alone by offering compassionate care, comfort, support and learning to those who are dying or grieving within our community.

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