Locals ready to compete in Dancing with the Tahoe Stars | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Locals ready to compete in Dancing with the Tahoe Stars

Cheyanne Neuffer

Tahoe Arts Project’s Dancing with the Tahoe Stars is back for its eighth year.

Ten pairs of local celebrities and locals with dance backgrounds will be paired up for the ultimate performance starting at 6:30 p.m., Saturday March 7, in the MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa Showroom.

While each partner can choose their style of dance, the theme is Broadway.

Each of the participants have been selected from different parts of the community.

“It’s a good mix of the community,” said Peggy Blowney, executive director of Tahoe Arts Project.

This year star participants include a diverse group ranging from a firefighter, realtor, barton employee, small business owners and more.

The Tahoe Arts Project’s committee reaches out to the community to find participants for the annual event.

Tahoe’s local celebrities met their dancing partners at the pairing event that was held at the Hard Rock Casino and Hotel on Jan. 14.

They’ve been preparing for the show since.

While Tahoe Arts Projects devises the meeting, partners are free to practice as much or little as they want.

The show has already sold out, but this year the event will be live streamed on the Tahoe Arts Project website.

“This is huge. This has never happened before,” Blowney said about the show being sold out.

She said her phone has been constantly ringing of people wanting to attend the event.

“We are so grateful to the community and participants for supporting this event,” she said.

This fundraiser is a fun for all event that brings the community together.

The money raised goes right back into the community by helping to bring performing arts into schools.

Donate in the name of your favorite couple through the Tahoe Arts Project’s website at tahoeartsproject.org.

Chris Fiore, City of South Lake Tahoe’s communications manager, is excited to be part of the show this year.

“The Tahoe Arts Project does so many great things in the community,” Fiore said. “I can’t dance so this is going to be a challenge.”

Fiore’s partner is Ashley Smith, who is a lifelong dancer.

Smith owns Studio E Dance & Aerial Art and also is the Dance Team Coach at South Tahoe High.

“I am working with a professional who has been dancing since she was three.” Fiore said, and added there have been “lots of practice and lots of rehearsals.”

Fiore says that working for the city has opened up great opportunities, and that he’s proud to represent the city and explained just how beneficial arts are for the community.

“This is such a good cause,” he said.

Robyn Rasmussen won the event in 2018 and she is back for her sixth year. Rasmussen is the owner and an instructor at The Bar Tahoe.

She also is a counselor at South Tahoe High School. This year her partner is president and superintendent of Lake Tahoe Community College, Jeff DeFranco.

“It has been great [rehearsing with DeFranco]. We both have crazy schedules,” she said.

Rasmussen said they have been fitting in rehearsals whenever they can. One day they even had a four and a half hour rehearsal, and some went until 10 p.m.

“Jeff and I both work in education so we know how important arts are for the community,” Rasmussen said.

Judges for the event will be Angela Zajic, Paul Middlebrook and Don Bosson.

Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Dreu Murin.

Other dance partners include:

Debbie Brown, owner of Cold Water Brewery and Grill, and recipient of Lake Tahoe’s Remarkable Women 2019 business person / entrepreneur award, is partnered with Matthew Slater.

David Kumpe, owner of Elevated Fitness and outdoorsist, will dance with Rhonda Keen.

Susan Glasson has been in Tahoe since 1978 working as a real estate appraiser. Now retired, she is a yoga instructor, proud member of the Tahoe Douglas Rotary Club and former board member of Tahoe Arts Projects. She is partnered with Luke Borchers.

Bridey Heidel is a South Tahoe High English teacher and department chair. She will be partnered with Heather Dominguez.

Chris Heng is a firefighter paramedic with Lake Valley Fire Protection District and he will be partnered with Kaela Johnson.

Erin Jones is a family physician at Barton Family Medicine and will be partnered with her husband Bryan Thompson.

Valerie Lomeli, project manager at Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, who also volunteers with Take Care Tahoe and SOS Outreach, is partnered with Adrian Escobedo.

Sarah Moss, owner of Sierra Athletic Club and former owner of Turn 3, is partnered with Amy Penner.

For more information about the show please call the Tahoe Arts Project at 530-542-3632.

Tahoe Arts Project is a non-profit dedicated to providing professional performing arts in the schools and community of South Lake Tahoe.

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