There are very few events that can persuade respected members of the community to don tap shoes and bust a move in front of a live audience, but Dakota’s Dancing with the Stars continues to achieve this feat year after year.
On Friday, the Dakota High School band program hosted its third annual Dancing with the Stars fundraiser. Dakota teachers and local celebrities showcased their hidden talents and thrilled audiences with their performances of carefully choreographed dance numbers.
“This is an all-out event that encompasses the taste of all the community,” said Christie Forbes-Green, event organizer and Dakota parent. “Local celebrities come from all over the community, internally and outside, and it’s a show. It’s something the community can enjoy about giving back.”
Proceeds from the event benefited the Dakota band program.
“People can always buy cookie dough and Morley Candy, but this is something so unique and so different, it is not just a product being purchased,” Forbes-Green said. “We actually have students performing during the event. We showcase what your money is going toward. It’s an event rather than just a fundraiser.”
Interim Superintendent of Chippewa Valley Schools Ron Roberts lent his voice and talents as emcee for the third year, and WDIV reporter Lauren Podell joined Roberts as co-host.
“I love the activity,” Roberts said. “This band is such a community and they work so hard to put this on. There are dozens of people who put this on and every year it seems to expand and the parent involvement is spectacular. It’s amazing what (the acts) do. I couldn’t do what those dancers do.”
Two of those dancers were Dakota Ninth Assistant Principal Paul Sibley and his wife.
“My wife and I are dancing to Cotton-Eyed Joe,” Sibley said. “Our approach has always been we do what it takes to help out the kids–even if it is embarrassing ourselves in public. Hopefully it’s entertaining to the audience and the community enjoys it.”
The pair worked with Janice’s Dance Studio to choreograph the dance. Prior to the final performance, Sibley admitted that while winning the event was not on the couple’s radar, they would definitely try their best and have a good laugh at the end of the night.
The Sibleys joined a dozen other individual, couple and group acts, including special performances by the award-winning Dakota Dancing Dads, the Detroit Pride Cheerleaders and ensemble groups from the Dakota band program.
Although the event also featured celebrity judges Marc Santia (WDIV reporter), Mario Impemba (Tigers play-by-play voice for Fox Sports Detroit) and Mary Skiba (owner of Mary Skiba’s School of Dance), the audience's votes ultimately chose the show’s winner.
This year, Dakota teacher Jeff Dolan and instructor Tera Van Tiem took home the discoball trophies.
“It's exciting to be involved in such a great event for the school,” Impemba, who is also a Dakota band parent, said. “The dancers have a lot of fun, and we as judges appreciate the hard work of everyone involved in the competition. It is a great opportunity to help the band. The kids put in a tremendous amount of work every year.”