Some of Oregon State University’s familiar faces will be seen in some unfamiliar places Thursday night as they salsa and waltz across the stage with OSU’s Dancing with the Stars on Thursday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the LaSells Stewart Center.
The event, created by the OSU Ballroom Dance Company, features Larry Roper, Vice Provost for Student Affairs, Karen Swanger, director of KidSpirit, Craig Bidiman, Memorial Union President, Tonga Hopoi, ASOSU Diversity Director, Linda Kasper, Director of Residential Education, Taylor Henry, OSU Football defensive end, Jim Males, Department Chair of Animal Science, and Laura Siewert, student and model.
They will be paired with members of the OSU Ballroom Dance Company, and each will perform a dance in a different style, choreographed by Director Mark Baker. For the last four weeks, the performers have been rehearsing their 90-second ballroom routines in preparation for the event. Just like in the popular television show, there will be a panel of judges, and the audience can vote as well.
“The people who said yes were excited and wanted to do something outside of their comfort zone,” Baker said.
There will be several large numbers by the OSU Cool Shoes dancers, in addition to individual performances by the Dancing with the Stars pairs.
“We want students to get to see their teachers and administrators in a different light,” Baker said.
The last two weeks have been particularly intense as would-be dancers get their routines down. Karen Swanger, director of KidSpirit, said she used to love ballroom dancing, but she hasn’t done a public dance performance since the eighth grade.
“I thought it would be really fun but I had no idea how much work it would be,” Swanger said. And though she said she’s a confident person, synchronized dancing in front of an audience is intimidating.
“I can make a fool of myself and be okay, but this is different,” she said. She said she’s depending on muscle memory to get her through the night.
Tickets are $10, or $8 for students, and can be purchased at the door or in advance in the Women’s Building , Room 007i.
~ Theresa Hogue