Some of the county’s most notable residents will strut their stuff next month in a fundraising event for the Storytelling and Arts Center of the Southeast.
Dancing with the Scotland Stars will be held at center on Feb. 2 in conjunction with an “Art’s Desire” auction featuring fine art pieces, vacations, and performances.
“It’s really a great Valentine’s celebration,” said Jan Schmidt, SACS executive director. “It’s going to be a lot of fun- everybody gets to vote and to see all the art decorating the center will be really nice.”
The 10 celebrity pairs will include Laurinburg’s Mayor Tommy Parker, former County Commissioner Joyce McDow, Scotland High football coach Richard Bailey, WLNC’S Gary Gallman, UNC Pembroke Arts and Sciences Associate Dean and SACS board member Mark Canada, former city clerk Dee Hammond and Joy Ellison, an educator and former Laurinburg city councilwoman.
“Other counties have had this type of event and its worked well - it’s something different,” said Ellison. “In Lumberton the United Way had it and it’s done well; it’s become an annual thing for them.”
Each pair will perform one dance routine of their own choosing, which will be scored by a panel of three judges. Audience votes will be taken in award categories like audience favorite, funniest routine, and most creative costume.
Canada, who will be dancing with his wife Lisa, has already begun work on a routine.
“We have started practicing, and we may get some professional assistance,” he said. “My wife and I have done a little bit of dancing, but we’re not ballroom experts. We’re enjoying learning the dance that we’re going to do.”
The event’s uniqueness should be a draw to crowds, helping to garner support for the Storytelling and Arts Center.
“It does seem like a clever idea; you get to go and see your friends on the stage dancing around,” said Canada. “I think that it is novel enough and I think it’s going to get the word out.”
Attendees will not be left to stare wistfully at those on the dance floor, as the stars’ dances, spaced throughout an evening of heavy hors d’oeuvres and auction bidding, will be followed by an open floor when the audience will be free to dance.
“The auction is what will make money, but in the meantime we’ll have a lot of fun dancing with the stars,” said Jeanette Herlocker, the event’s volunteer chair. “I think it will be a great time and I think we will sell out.”
The auction preview will begin at 6:30 p.m., with the silent auction beginning at 7 p.m.
More than 800 invitations have been sent, though all are welcome to attend, and 130 seats are available. The cost is $25 per person, and reservations can be made by calling SACS at 277-3599.