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The thought kept coming back to me, "why am I doing this?" The answer was always the same, "because you're helping other people."
I was invited several months ago to participate in a dance contest to help raise money for the Food Bank. It was easy to say yes on the phone for such a great cause but the reality of the commitment set in later. Rather than joining the usual crowd of people on a dance floor, this would be a set routine, on stage, with an audience and judges included.
How did it go? It was a blast!
"Swingin a Star" took place November 17th at the Qwest Center and there were eight couples in the competition. Each "celebrity" had a professional dance partner from the Omaha Jitterbugs, myself being the exception. I was teamed with my wife Sue and together we had a great deal of fun learning the swing moves and practicing in our free time. Nate Woodhams of the Jitterbugs donated a lot of his time in helping us prepare so a big thank-you goes out to him.
He suggested we go first as the only husband-wife team, so there I was again thinking "why am I doing this" as we were about to take the stage. Next thing I knew the song "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" was blaring, the audience was clapping and we were dancing! All the moves followed as rehearsed and it was over in a flash. My wife Sue was great and her smile throughout was priceless. Now I know I actually did it for two reasons: to help the food bank, and to give my lifelong dance partner a chance to shine.
The other competitors were outstanding with plenty of personality, complicated footwork and high energy presentation. First place went to Nebraska baseball player Jeff Tezak and dance teacher Christy Vailauskas. Miss Nebraska USA Geneice Wilcher and dance teacher Jonathan Rathsom finished a close second.
I'm glad it's over but I also recommend that you attend next year when they again raise money for The Food Bank. The evening is much more than a dance competition, it includes a live band and which gives you a chance to hit the dance floor. And if you need some help with swing dancing, Nate and others from the Omaha JItterbugs give lessons every Friday night at the Eagles Lodge 201 South 24th street in Omaha. The cost is very reasonable. With a simple internet search you'll find their website.