Dancing with the Stars to return

Brian Swick and Kezia Blackwell perform "Heartbreak Medley" at Dancing with the Montgomery County Stars.
Brian Swick and Kezia Blackwell perform "Heartbreak Medley" at Dancing with the Montgomery County Stars.

The return to the dance floor is finally going to happen.

What was once a staple event on Montgomery County calendars took a hiatus as did many others due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Welcome back Montgomery County Dancing With The Stars in 2023.

The eighth MCDWTS event, the first in four years, is set for May 20 in the Knowling Fieldhouse at Wabash College. As in the past, proceeds will benefit the Montgomery County Youth Service Bureau.

“By far this is our biggest fundraiser,” said Jane Christopherson, who head the YSB CASA program and oversees this event. “We recognize this is a big event around the area. We’ve missed it.”

The evening will start with a buffet dinner. There also will be different sponsorship level opportunities, a silent auction, and cash bar as the YSB’s goal is to raise $70,000.

“We were getting ready to return in 2022,” Christopherson added. “The only reason we shut it down was the pandemic. We were close to doing it last year. We usually start planning the latter part of the year before and it was just still too iffy.”

The kickoff breakfast is scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 25 at the Youth Service Bureau building on East Pike Street in Crawfordsville. The contestants will be announced at that time with a live broadcast on WIMC radio. There will be nine pairs of dancers to take the floor May 20.

“We will have a ‘pro’ that has taught or taken dance and pair them with a ‘star’ as we call them,” she said. “The star also is asked to do fundraising, which helps to extend our reach. It’s not short of phenomenal what the pros and stars put into this event.”

The event has been a sellout since its inception in 2013. The 800 available tickets will be sold online only for the first time. That information will be released soon.

The Wabash College venue has always hosted the event.

“We really appreciate Wabash College to provide the facility. There really is no other place in the county big enough to hold both dinner and the dance. We also set up floor side tables for sponsors and public that purchase them.”

There will be plenty of alumni from previous MCDWTS.

“We are going to have two or three new pros this year, but many of them come back year after year. We also have an opening dance before dinner with any alumni. We’d love to have them.”

Christopherson started toying with the DWTS idea several years ago.

“I stole the idea from the CASA director in Putnam County. She mentioned it and it intrigued me.”

There was push back by the previous MCYSB administration, but Christophersen got backing when Karen Branch took the executive director position.

“I couldn’t convince the head until Karen came on board. I was on the interview committee and brought it up in her interview. She said at that time she would probably be on board if hired. Here we are.”


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