Dancing with the Stars is not only one of the best shows on T.V. right now but it also one of the funnest events that happens on the SUU Campus put on by the SUU Ballroom Dance Company. Each dancer from the company is given a style and is paired with a “Star” from the SUU community who they work with for 6-8 weeks teaching them a dance routine to then compete against the rest of these contestants. This is my absolute favorite event because it challenges me as a dancer, choreographer and teacher and I get to work with amazing people and share the gift of dance!
This year I was given the Lindy-Hop with my dear friend Tommy Gugino. We started towards the end of January with the basics then went on from there. Poor Tommy was such a good sport and so adaptable throughout the entire process. One day I would come with one idea and the next was something completely different, prefacing the changes I always said, “I have a thought.” He followed along and put up with the scattered mess that is my brain. The Lindy-Hop is a very cardio focused style that is basically all running and jumping providing a nice amount of impact on all of my joints. This came as a challenge because it was extremely painful, especially at the beginning. But in this situation, I couldn’t be in pain or at least I couldn’t show it because I was the “professional” and this is what I do. Luckily, I had the best partner to pull me through the routine and provide all the support I needed, he became one of my closest friends. This was one of those mental hurdles I had to jump over. I knew I could do it, I just had to convince myself that I could.
It was all worth it, Tommy was named the 2016 SUU Dancing with the Stars Champion. Win or lose it would have been worth it but he deserved it more than I could possibly say with the amount of work he put into it.