EDITOR JULIE IMEL DISHES THE NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Get into the groove
The ballroom at the Scranton Cultural Center (SCC) will be hopping Friday night as one of our favorite summer fundraisers kicks off at 5:30 p.m. – Dancing With the NEPA Stars. Be sure to stop by for a wonderful show as Megan Alpert and Terry Barrett take center stage and dance for a good cause. It costs $1 to cast a vote for your favorite dancer, and proceeds benefit the SCC. You can vote online at www.scrantonculturalcenter.org until 5 p.m. on June 22, and when the online polls close, you may cast your votes in person at the event.
I’ve always been impressed by those who participate in this event — from those who sign up to compete, to the instructors at Step by Step who volunteer their time to teach each dancer just the right moves, to our friends at the Scranton Cultural Center who coordinate the event. This year, I have an even greater appreciation for all the hard work that goes into orchestrating this event because I was in the line-up for the July competition, and I witnessed some of the magic that goes into it behind the scenes.
I was only three lessons into rehearsals when a fender bender injured my back and neck, causing me to trade my dancing shoes for a heating pad and painkillers. Suddenly my gait looked like that of a 90-year-old lady, lending new meaning to the phrase coined by Young MC back in the day. Remember Bust A Move?
But before the accident, I was in it to win it. I bought appropriate dance shoes. I was practicing at home. I was watching the movie that my routine would be based upon. I was really focused — maybe even too focused. The first clue that my competitive side was rearing its ugly head was when I took my friends to scope out the competition one day during lunch. I wanted to assess how formidable a competitor he might be — I kid you not. “You do realize you’re not going to be on the actual TV show, right?” a friend asked.
I wasn’t even going to dignify that with a response.
“No one expects you to dance like a professional. Just have fun with it.” I took umbrage to that remark at the time, but he was right. I was getting a little too intense about it.
So I plan to channel that intensity into supporting Alpert and Barrett on Friday night. I’m sure they have devoted countless hours to learning their routines, and I know all too well that it’s not as easy as the professionals make it look. As I watched my instructor, Debbie Koshinski-Urban, owner of Step By Step, glide across the floor during my first lesson, I couldn’t believe how effortless she made it look. When it was my turn, it was nothing but Elaine Benes all the way. A poised professional and truly lovely person, Koshinski-Urban offered nothing but smiles and encouragement every step of the way.
Good luck to the competitors, and congratulations to all who are involved in this event. We are fortunate to have another season of dancing for a good cause in our own back yard.
That’s the scoop! Thanks for reading, and I’ll meet you here again next week.
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