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Opening dance number from the 2014 Dancing With the Stars.

The sixth annual Dancing With the Stars; Auburn Edition is set for January 31.  The event has become wildly popular, and raises over $20,000 annually for Auburn Youth and Family Services.

Each year, the AYFS Dancing With the Stars planning committee seeks out about 10 local personalities willing to throw caution to the wind and get a little crazy for a good cause.  The participants are paired with dance instructors from Sally McDermott Dance Centers in Auburn and Charlton.  The female contestants are paired with instructors from Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Worcester.

The theme for this year’s DWTS is “Hooray for Hollywood,” meaning each dancing couple will perform a routine they’ve choreographed based on a movie.  This leaves an awful lot of room for creativity!

The dancers have about two months to choreograph, learn and perfect their dance routine, which typically runs between 3 and 4 minutes.  For a partner who (probably) does not have much dancing experience, this can be a very tall order.  It is also a lot of fun, and for a very good cause.  I speak from experience, as Megan Berg and I will be one of the couples participating this year.

To make matters worse…er, I mean… adding to the excitement of the evening will be an opening number featuring all of the dancers, and an alumni dance number featuring many of the prior year performers.

The complete roster of participating dancers is:

  • Nate Atella- Mid-State Auto (dancing with Nadine Zona SMDC Dance Instructor)
  • David Hall- Pastor St. Thomas Episcopal Church (dancing with Kat Damian SMDC Dance Instructor)
  • Mike Hammond- President of Pop Warner Football (dancing with Michelle Duclos SMDC Dance Instructor)
  • Rick Gaudreau- Thrifty Car Rental (dancing with Carrie Callahan SMDC Dance Instructor)
  • Alicia O’Connell- Attorney (dancing with Ben Champagne- Arthur Murray Dance Studio Instructor)
  • Pat Dufour- AHS teacher & football coach (dancing with Caitlin Foley SMDC Dance Instructor)
  • Jessica Harrington- Auburn School Committee Member (Jarrod Clark –Arthur Murray Dance Studio Instructor)
  • Glenn Johnson- Assistant Fire Chief (dancing with Sarah Nugent SMDC Dance Instructor)
  • George Vranos- Auburn Police Officer (dancing with Kate Stanley SMDC Dance Instructor)
  • Jeff LaBonte- LaBonte Consulting & Auburn Mass Daily.com (dancing with Megan Berg SMDC Dance Instructor)

The hilarious and lovable Joe Hurley will again emcee the evening.  Judging the dancers will be prior year participants Corey Handfield, Stephen Coleman, Ralph Capaldi (2014 Gold Medal Winner with Nadine Zona) and Karen Mackintire.

Motorsports International,  444 Washington Street, will again host the event in their spacious showroom.  At press time, Park ‘n Shop and Chuck’s were slated to provide

Adam Burney and Kat Damien from 2014.

Adam Burney and Kat Damien from 2014.

appetizers, and several other restaurants are expected to join the event.  This year’s major sponsors are Webster Five Savings Bank, Central One Federal Credit Union, Baystate Savings Bank and Harvard Pilgrim Health Plan.

There is also a silent auction held in conjunction with the dancing.  Anyone wishing to donate for the auction/and or food should contact Sally D’Arcangelo at 508-832-5707 ext. 11

Tickets are $25.00/each and are on sale at Auburn Youth & Family Services, 21 Pheasant Court, Auburn, and can also be purchased online at: www.ayfs.org.  Social hour will begin at 6:30 with performances immediately following.  Free valet parking provided by Elite Parking Services of Northborough.

This event will certainly sell out; last year there were over 400 attendees.  So order your tickets early, and don’t miss out on the great event for a great cause!