Dancing with Missouri Stars returns May 17
The 6th annual “Dancing With Missouri Stars” will be May 17th at the Southwell Complex on the Columbia College campus. Each year esteemed members in the mid-Missouri area are selected and paired with a professional ballroom dance instructors from Ballroom Academy of Columbia and Studio B, have 3 month’s to take lessons and then compete for the prestigious DWMS trophy. The audience members vote with money which all goes to benefit the Missouri Contemporary Ballet professional dance company.
A Kickoff Party was held Sunday, February 12 at Room 38 to announce this year’s celebrity dancers: Joe Bechtold, Erica Beshore, Betsy Farris, Dr. Jerry Murrell, Dr. Sanjeev Ravipudi, Kathy Ritter, Dr. Barbara Tellerman and Chuck Witt.
General Admission tickets are $20 adults/$15 students and can be purchased in advance here. They are also available at the door the night of the event. To inquire about purchasing a table on the floor contact firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information call 573-219-7134.
Round One: All dancers will perform their Smooth Dance. The order of dancers will be predetermined by Ballroom Academy of Columbia. At the end of each performance, the dance pair will go over to the co-hostess to be interviewed. The 3 judges will then be asked their feelings about the performance and then hold up their score. Note: judge’s scoring has no bearing on the popular choice voting; it is input and entertainment, however there will be a Judge’s Choice winner in addition to the DWMS winner.
First Intermission: At the conclusion of Round One, ballot boxes will be brought out and positioned at key locations around Southwell and the audience will vote with money or credit card vouchers. Voting will end and votes tabulated, with the top four dancers and bottom four dancers identified.
Round Two: Everyone will perform their Rhythm Dance. Same procedure as in Round One above. Ballot boxes will again be brought out and voting with money or vouchers. At the conclusion, the top three finalists will be announced, with the DWMS Winner receiving a lovely trophy, Judges’ Choice Winner a trophy, and all contestants receive medals.
To vote in advance of the performance via PayPal, use the form below:
Online donations are now closed. See you at our event!
Meet the Dancers
After graduating from the University of Missouri in 1990 Joe Bechtold moved to Australia to sell oak barrels to the Australian wine industry. Several years ago, he and his lovely Australian bride Megan moved back to Columbia to run the Midway Truck Stop & Expo Center where among other things he has hosted charity fundraisers ranging from motorcycle rallies to Cow Paddy Bingo for Boys and Girls Town of Missouri, The March of Dimes, and Alzheimer’s of Columbia. In 2011 Joe began hosting Truck Stop Missouri, a docu-series tv show on the Travel Channel.
While Joe has never been risk averse his adventures have not always ended well. He has required the assistance of local and federal authorities (i.e. he’s been rescued) on multiple bodies of water from the upper reaches of the Russian river in N. California, the San Francisco Bay, the french alps and while sailing a home made schooner around Australia. It would appear that he takes risks without the requisite planning and occasionally “bites off more than he can chew.” He has far more boating experience than dancing experience: Is he going to sink this boat too?
After completing her Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology and Immunology from Mizzou, Erica worked at a biotech startup as the Director of Scientific Communications. Throughout her time in Columbia, Erica became more involved in the fitness community and realized it was her true passion, leading her to join Wilson’s as an instructor focused on Les Mills programs. Having trained in five programs including Body Combat and SH’BAM, Erica makes fitness a fun and engaging activity for her classes, wanting people to look forward to working out. When she’s not teaching fitness, Erica gives back serving as a board member of Boys and Girls Club and a member of the Heart of Missouri United Way’s Health Advisory Council.
Photo coming soon.
Betsy grew up in Columbia and got her start in the arts and entertainment business. She moved to St. Louis to pursue a position as the Design Director for KPLR-TV, KRBK-TV and Koplar Enterprises. Farris returned to her roots in Columbia to raise three teenage boys and further her career in the entertainment industry.
Farris currently serves as the President for Thumper Entertainment, which produces the annual BCNB Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival. Their goal is to educate through music, and to cultivate union among people of differing cultural backgrounds.
Betsy is excited and honored to raise support and funding for the Missouri Contemporary Ballet.
Jerry is a retired radiation oncologist. He has been in Columbia since 1984. In addition to being involved in most area hospitals, he is an avid tennis player, fly fisherman, bird hunter, and pianist. He has been involved with many community activities and boards. Two of his children live here in Columbia – one lives in Japan. The opportunity to be in DWMS is challenging and a bit scary. He was hoping for a minuet…
Sanjeev’s parents immigrated to the United States in the mid 1960’s to live the American Dream. Sanjeev was born in Nashville, Tennessee while they were completing their Masters and Ph.D. in Engineering at Vanderbilt University.
Sanjeev’s performing career began early with Tap starting at the precocious age of 6. Like many child stars, Sanjeev’s career on stage ended early. He has not visited the stage since.
Life’s path eventually led Sanjeev to medical school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In Kansas City, he met the love of his life, Shelley. In 1995 postgraduate training took the couple to Baylor in Dallas and then the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
With a desire to find the perfect place to begin the next chapter of their life, the couple arrived in Columbia in 2002 and Sanjeev began his career in Cardiology with the Missouri Heart Center. Sanjeev’s patients affectionately refer to him as “Dr. Ravi-cutie”.
Shortly after their arrival, they had 2 Boone Babies, Kailash and Leela.
After volunteering to be a contestant in this years Dancing with Missouri Stars, many have asked Sanjeev how he arrived at the decision to participate. A quote from George Bernard Shaw summarizes it best: “Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.”
On May 17th, 2012, Sanjeev makes his return to the stage and dedicates his performance to all those involved in the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. He hopes you will support all the volunteers and professionals who have donated their time and efforts for MCB and he urges you to vote and vote often.
Dancing on stage is nothing new for Kathy. At Rock Bridge High School assemblies, she willingly “gave it up for the team” often performing on stage in the gym. While she loves to dance, her professional training is grounded in many years of senior prom supervision, some weekend trips to Nashville, a few Zumba classes and a love of Motown. Having taught math at Jeff Junior, Hickman High, Rock Bridge High and MU, Kathy is ready to count the syncopated rhythms, get off her bike, take it up a notch, and dance her way to a new adventure.
Kathy retired as principal of Rock Bridge High School in 2010. Columbia has been her home since graduating from the University of Missouri in 1975. Husband Jim Ritter (retired superintendent of Columbia Public Schools) and sons Joe and Tim just hope she can pull this dancing thing off.
Dr. Barbara Tellerman (aka “Dr. T”) is a member of Radiology Consultants, Inc. She has practiced radiology in Columbia at Boone Hospital Center since 1990.
She is also “Barb T” at Grindstone Fitness Studio where she is a spinning instructor.
She loves Brock’s green peppers and “all that jazz ” at Murry’s . She is on the Board of Directors of the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series.
Her other passions include books, cycling and skiing with her family, Allyn, Erica, Adam and Abby Sher.
Barb is thrilled to support the Missouri Contemporary Ballet as a “celebrity contestant” in the 2012 Dancing with the Missouri Stars.
Photo coming soon.
Chuck Witt was born in Paget, Bermuda and raised in Sullivan, Missouri. He currently resides here in Columbia where he has been for nearly 30 years. Chuck is happily married to his spouse of 20 years- Nancy Smarr –Witt. Chuck and Nancy have raised two wonderful children, Brandon (23) and Patrick (18). Chuck has been employed by the Columbia Fire Department for 25 years and currently has the honor to serve as Fire Chief.
Chuck is extremely involved in his community. He currently serves with the Columbia Cosmopolitan Luncheon Club, Downtown Rotary and the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors. Furthermore he donates his time to support the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.
In Chuck’s free time he enjoys golfing, hunting and spending time with his family.
Chuck recently agreed to participate in the Missouri Contemporary Ballet’s 6th annual Dancing with the Missouri Stars. He has lovingly been named Dancing Chief Chuck and is shining his shoes and practicing his dance steps. He invites you to support him in this unique journey of learning new dances to raise money for Missouri Contemporary Ballet.
You can follow Chuck and his dancing efforts by viewing photos and videos on Facebook. On Facebook, you can also get updates on his fundraising activities and make a donation to the cause. His Facebook page is located at Dancing Chief Chuck.
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