Brunswick Community College Foundation announced the names of the 16 amateur and professional dancers in the fifth Dancing with the Brunswick Stars competition.
Linda Lynes, chair of the event, explained that decorations, food, songs and dances will reflect this year’s theme, “A Southern Inspiration.”
“I do the shag,” said amateur dancer Butch Underwood of Oak Island, N.C. “We’re going to shag the Southern gospel.”
He explained that he and his professional partner, Karen Taylor, will dance to “Coming Home to Jesus” by the Clovers. “It’s Southern inspiration,” he said.
Col. James Rupkalvis, commander at Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point in Southport, N.C., said he’s not a dancer and will count on his professional partner, Ann Hucks, for direction.
“My wife and I took lessons,” he said. “I forgot everything, but I can march well.” Hucks, owner of Dance Connection in Shallotte, N.C., said she’s done the cha cha each year she’s been in DWTBS, but this year, “I’m looking to change.”
More than 600 people attend the event, which raises money for scholarships to Brunswick Community College, Bolivia, N.C. The college enrollment includes 1,500 curriculum students and 3,000-4,000 more who are part time or are in technical or other specialized programs, said Dr. Susanne Adams, president of the college.
She added that 60 percent of BCC students need financial assistance, and this fundraiser provides 125 scholarships each semester. “Scholarships change lives not just for students,” she said. “It changes expectations families have.”
Terry Mohr of Oak Island, executive director of the foundation, said the ultimate goal is to eliminate all financial obstacles for students. “We can do that with the philanthropic spirit of the community,” he said.
Professional dancer Brad White of Wilmington, N.C., a national champion shagger, is partnered with Sue MacCallum of Bolivia, N.C., founder of Winding River Players, a member of Tappers Extraordinaire dance troupe and DWTBS committee member. They haven’t chosen a song, but White agreed when MacCallum said, “It will be rhythm and blues.”
Jim Fish of Ash, N.C., executive director of Brunswick Senior Services, will dance with professional Jada Gonzalez, owner and instructor along with her husband, Juan Gonzalez, of Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Myrtle Beach. “I’m starting from scratch. I’m the project of the group,” Fish said. “We have to do something that brings people to their feet, something lively and entertaining.”
“It’s to be Southern inspired,” Gonzalez said. “ ‘Nothing Could be Finer than to be in Carolina’ popped into my mind although everybody probably thought of that.”
Others in the contest are (amateur named first followed by professional) Tom Adams and Debra Hughes; Jennifer Beasley and Davis Canady; Randy Aldridge and Jessica Baltos; Lydia Chandler and Phillip McGee; Bud Azzato and Ashley Stewart; Nichole Harding and Dan Chop; Allan Cheatham and Holly Knepp; Cindy Hewett and Juan Gonzalez; Clif Cheek and Brianna Bell; Robert Duffy and Shiloh Ransom; Shannon Viera and RJ Sanchez; Arthur Mallory and Sara Misiti Clemmons.
Dancing with the Brunswick Stars starts at 6 p.m. Aug. 9 at Dinah E. Gore Fitness and Aquatics Center on the campus of Brunswick Community College, U.S. 17 and College Road, Bolivia, N.C. Tickets, sponsorships and other information about the event are available at dwts.brunswickcc.edu, 910-755-7473 and 800-754-1050.