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Dancing with the MU Stars: Get Ready to Be Wowed!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012
On Saturday, April 28, at 7:30 p.m., the Verizon Sports Arena in the Lee Center will be transformed into a mirror-ball dance extravaganza. Marymount contestants, paired with professional dancers from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Washington, DC, will light up the dance floor as they take on everything from the waltz and tango to the jive and hustle!


Theodore (TJ) Berry ’14, Theology major
Biggest competitor: Not sure, he says, “I plan to wipe them all on the floor!”
Preparing for the competition: “My only dance experience was dancing with my grandma and little random dances in my room! My challenge is trying to move my legs fast.”
Dance: Jive, performed with Diane Samuelson
Song: Footloose by Kenny Loggins

Udit Bhatnagar ’13, a Mutidisciplinary Studies (Elementary Education) major
Biggest competitor: “TJ is my biggest competitor. He’s a close friend, and I hope to beat him!”
Preparing for the competition: “My biggest challenge is learning the sequence of events and the steps. And I’m learning a new vocabulary.”
Dance: Rhumba, performed with Katya Naiman
Song: Moonlight by Sherman Kelly

Tina Billingiere, MBA candidate – assistant manager of the Lee Center and co-coordinator for Spirit programs
Biggest competitor: “I have two: Jordana – she’s a little saucy! And Father David has the Holy Spirit with him; you can’t really mess with that!”
Preparing for the competition:
“Dancing is so much fun and such a stress release!”
Dance: Samba, performed with Dmitri Naiman
Song: Macarena by De Yarza/Triay/Romero/Ruiz

Brandon Jenkins, coordinator for Leadership Development, Student Development
Biggest competitor: “Jordana. I know that she has the moves. But the mirror ball will end up in my office!”
Preparing for the competition: “I have no dance experience, so it’s a hard task! My biggest challenge is learning how to move my hips. And, I want to show my mom that I can do a better shoulder roll!”
Dance: Hustle, performed with Katya Naiman
Song: Last Dance by Paul Jabara

Claire Morrison, ’14, Nursing major
Biggest competitor: “TJ. He’s got so much energy and charisma!”
Preparing for the competition: “I’m so excited! I’ve been a dancer since I was six, but I had a bad injury [as a young teenager] that affected my dancing. My biggest challenge is shaking my hips in the ChaCha. It’s difficult coming to it as a classically trained ballerina and contemporary dancer.”
Dance: ChaCha, performed with Robert Eisenbach
Song: Let’s Get Loud by Jennifer Lopez

Keith Moser
, men’s soccer coach
Biggest competitor: “Lynne Shank! It’s a fun rivalry.”
Preparing for the competition: “I’m all about competition, so I jumped on this opportunity! As an athlete, I’m used to large movements, but dancing breaks movement down to a fine art.”
Dance: Waltz, performed with Diane Samuelson
Song: Three Times a Lady by Lionel Richie

Lynne Shank, wife of Marymount President Matt Shank
Biggest competitor: While not sure, Mrs. Shank says, “I have a very nice spot on our mantle dusted off already for the mirror-ball trophy!”
Preparing for the competition: “I was more of a tomboy growing up. I decided to participate for my girls, Grace and Olivia. They love to dance, and Dancing with the Stars is one of their favorite shows. My partner, Robert, is very patient when I try to take the lead!”
Dance: Tango, performed with Robert Eisenbach
Song: El Capitalismo Foraneo by Cohen-solal/Mueller

Father David Sharland, Y.A., chaplain and director of Campus Ministry
Biggest competitor: “The scarecrow hanging in the field! Actually, Jordana is pretty tough. She and Lynne Shank are going for the throat; they’re tough competitors!”
Preparing for the competition: “I’ve learned that I really don’t have any rhythm, and I really do have two left feet! This has been a extraordinary experience. I’ve learned confidence in my movements and balance. It’s good exercise, too. It’s been a lot of fun.”
Dance: Swing, performed with Missy Nilson
Song: Soul Man by Hayes/Porter

Jordana Taylor ’10 (History) and a candidate in the M.A. in Literature and Languages program (Humanities concentration); associate director of Operations, Undergraduate Admissions
Biggest competitor: “Tina! She’s doing a similar dance with the same partner.”
Preparing for the competition: “My biggest struggle would actually be learning how not to step on my partner’s feet and not to take the lead! My partner, Dmitri, has been really fantastic in helping me find my balance and talent on the dance floor. We chose the salsa because of my fiery personality!”
Dance: Salsa, performed with Dmitri Naiman
Song: Miami by Will Smith

Dancing with the MU Stars is presented by the Activities Programming Board, the Student Government Association, and the Office of Student Activities. The competition is a fund raiser for the Marymount University Presidential Assistance Fund, which helps students who encounter unexpected financial hardship. Tickets are $1 for MU students and children under 12; $2 for everyone else.

The Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Washington, DC, which has provided the amazing professional dancers/instructors, is co-owned by Marymount alumna Maria Coakley David, who is also a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.
A special highlight of the evening will be provided by two young competitive dancers, Taylor de Jesus and Sophie Bazarov, who will give an International Latin dance demonstration.

Julie Wilson, also an MU alum and co-owner of Encore Ballroom Couture, will serve as co-host with Marymount senior Jeffery Wilkins. The professional judges include Dan Calloway of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing; Corey von Ginkel, a member of the National Dance Council of America and a certified Imperial Society Teachers of Dance Competitor; and Brenda Wilson, co-owner of Encore Ballroom Couture.

This is a show not to be missed!