Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Live at "Dancing Like the Stars"

On Sunday afternoon, Ruth Sheehan, one of my intrepid sisters-in-law, engaged in a public dance competition at the N.C. State Fairgrounds on behalf of children with special needs and the honor of the newspaper industry. She and her dance partner won!

That's her in the pink sequins, as photographed on my phone by her nine year old son Tucker who was sitting beside me at Dancing Like The Stars. She's dancing with Dick Hensley, a dance instructor who performed in the movie Dirty Dancing.

Ruth is a columnist at Raleigh's News & Observer, and she was competing against TV people (accustomed to performing in person). Each of the media contestants had a professional dance partner who rehearsed with her/him for six weeks. Then they all got dolled up like those on the TV show, "Dancing With the Stars" and each couple danced for the live audience.

People could vote on-line, after watching a video of a rehearsal, or at the performance. Votes cost $10 for the first and $1 for any additional. The money went to the Bubel/Aiken Foundation, for programs that promote inclusion of kids with special needs. The show was emceed by Clay Aiken's mother, Faye Parker. (Clay's from here in Raleigh.)

Ruth and Dick got the most votes. No way could a devout newspaper person let a broadcaster win. Never mind that one of them was a former Washington Redskins cheerleader and Ruth has long been known for bumping into doorjambs and the edges of things. But you can't beat a crusading columnist like her; as one of the judges, a waggish Simon Cowell wannabe, said: Ruth, your dancing, like your column was all over the place and leaning a little to the left.

I don't know how much money the children's foundation took in, but I'm guessing it was a fair amount. Because the competition was seriously bold. One 6'5" sportscaster did "the worm" across the stage and jumped over his partner. The dancers went all out, and what a lot of fun it was.... There's nothing like getting fiercely competitive and bold in pink sequins--and for a good cause.




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2 comments:

Debra W said...

Hooray for your sister-in-law! Truly a bold thing to do. She must be very proud of herself for working so hard and then WINNING! I guess boldness runs in your family, doesn't it! And the pink sequins look fabulous on her!

Congratulations for raising money for such a great cause!

Peggy Payne said...

She's also a marathon runner. That's probably pretty good training for this sort of thing, physically and mentally. Thanks, Deb.