Meet the celebrities and their pros
Ten fewer Missoulians will have two left feet following their participation in “Dancing with the Missoula Stars,” a fundraiser for the Downtown Dance Collective (DDC).
For weeks, our celebrities—or non-dancers, the preferred term of at least one competitor—have been rehearsing their steps with their professional dancers. All their hard work, blood (no doubt they’ll have a popped blister or two), sweat and tears will come together Sunday, February 21 at the Top Hat Lounge for an event sure to have you wishing you were a celebrity.
Missoula Valley Lifestyle was there when the couples were introduced and captured the excitement and panic, but mostly the happy nervous energy of the “non-dancers” and their pros.
Bring the Drama
Celebrity: Charene Herrera, DJ on KYSS 94.9
Pro Dancer: Patrick Marsolek
Dance Style: Argentine Tango
Before Charene officially learned her dance style:
Charene: “I figured tango since you’re the tango master.”
Patrick: “You didn’t know that.”
Charene: “Yeah, I kind of did. I’m smarter than you think.”
“I’m the non-dancer. I prefer non-dancer to celebrity. After this, I’m going to be a dancer!”
Celebrity: Paul Ryan, Attorney
Pro Dancer: Jennifer Corbin
Dance Style: Salsa
“It’s a new experience and exciting. I’m not a very good dancer at all, so I hope I get to stand while my partner dances around me.”
Celebrity: Corey Regini, Lead Brewer at the KettleHouse
Pro Dancer: Christopher Coburn
Dance Style: Hip Hop
Corey, what are you most looking forward to?
“Shaking my butt.”
“Katie’s good. I’m better. Her partner seems really cool, too. Corey’s cooler.”
Ham It Up
Celebrity: Suzanne Phillips, Chef/Manager at The Trough at The Olde Dairy
Pro Dancer: Heidi Jones Eggert
Dance Style: Lindy Hop
Suzanne’s winning spirit: “I’m definitely not shy. I’m definitely a ham.
Suzanne, you’ve sized up the other dancers. Who is the biggest competition?
“Reid [Reimers] has a lot of theater experience. I think his having been in shows and being part of the theater give him a big advantage, and he’s also quite a ham.”
Dance with a Kick
Celebrity: Melanie Charlson, President of the Missoula Education Association
Pro Dancer: Jennifer Meyer Vaughan
Dance Style: Latin Jazz
Celebrity: Felipe “Fez” Von Sydow, Co-Owner of Arcane Fitness
Pro Dancer: Meagen Hensley
Dance Style: Old Hollywood
Meagan, are you going to teach Fez how to lead?
“We’ll see. If I have to lead, I’ll lead. If he can, he will. He’s definitely able to pick me up. I can’t pick him up, unfortunately, although that could be kind of fun.”
Fez chimes in, “I’m not afraid to fall.”
The Shade Gauntlet
Celebrity: Christine Littig, Owner of Bernice’s Bakery
Pro Dancer: Katie Lewis
Dance Style: Hip Hop Stylized
Katie, there are two hip hop dancers in this competition, you and Christopher. Sum up Christopher’s style.
“His style is kind of jazz, funk, West Coast, and I don’t know what that means. He probably read it on the Internet.”
“Katie will have to put up with my smelling like a cookie every day.”
Celebrity: Jeff Medley, Actor and Musician
Pro Dancer: Joy French
Dance Style: Contemporary
Team Advantage: Partners in Real Life
Team Disadvantage: Partners in Real Life
Jeff, have you sized up the competition?
“Some of it.”
Are you feeling confident?
“Not really. I can pretend.”
“There are some high stakes with us: Jeff got voted best actor last year and I got voted best dancer, so we cannot screw up. We’re not allowed.”
Celebrity: Reid Reimers, Actor and Arts Educator
Pro Dancer: Colleen Rosbarsky
Dance Style: Musical Theater Fosse-Style
Colleen, have you sized up the competition?
“I think I have a huge advantage because I have Reid. He’s an amazing performer.”
Reid, do you have a little rivalry with fellow actor Jeff Medley?
“Yes, very much so and a really fun one. I just want to give him the stink eye. Competitions are more fun if you talk some trash.”
Spirit of Hawai’i
Celebrity: Susan Hay Patrick, CEO of United Way of Missoula County
Pro Dancer: Mina May
Dance Style: Hula