Dancing with the Arc Stars 2014

Today I have a very special post for you.  It has been such a privilege over the last few years to get to know the staff and clients at Easter Seals Arc in Northeast IN.  Last Friday night not even subzero temperatures could stop the dancers and the hundreds of audience members from watching Dancing with the Arc Stars.

In case you are not familiar with this event.  Each year clients of Easter Seals Arc along with local celebrities and business men/women are paired together for a dance competition at Hotel Fort Wayne.   It is similar to Dancing with the Stars on ABC.

Three judges offer delightful commentary.   As always the judges include Jack Hammer with Three Rivers Festival and Trina Neeley, FW Entertainer. In addition the top fundraiser of the previous year is a judge. In this case Dr. Megan Friesen was the 3rd judge.  Kenny K the DJ was the annual Emcee.

PRIMETIME always provides incredible music to dance to before and after the competition.  And of course the entire thing wouldn’t be possible without Valerie Magana the Marketing and Development Coordinator at Easter Seals Arc. This was her brainstorm idea a few years back and wow… wow… it’s so great to see her work pay off each year.

In November each of the dance couples met for the first time at Hotel Fort Wayne.  We took head-shots that night of each dancer and the staff at American Style Ballroom was there to introduce a few dance steps to the new dancers. The clients at Easter Seals Arc are award-winning dancers and had a few moves to show as well.  Throughout the Winter each couple met at American Style Ballroom for rehearsals.  Each couple was dedicated to learning their dance. And that they did!

It is a team effort each year of SO many people to pull this off.  I get the easy job.  Sitting back with camera in hand and capturing it all.

If you were at the event and would like to see all of the photos please contact me right here on the website using the contact form. I will be happy to pass that onto you.

So now I present a few photos of Dancing with the Arc Stars 2014.

Have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.


Couple # 1 Dave Hanna and Jodi.  2nd Place – ShowmanshipCouple # 2 Tony Freiburger and Susie. 1st Place – Best Footwork.Couple #3 Ron Buskirk and Janice.  2nd Place –  Most Elegant. (I have to add this side note. This was Janice’s first year dancing.  She is the most positive, confident person I have ever met. She radiates joy.  Everyone needs a Janice in their life.)Couple # 4 Angela and Danny.  2nd Place – Best MusicalityCouple # 5 Linda Skaggs and Peter.  1st Place – ShowmanshipCouple # 6 Mike and DeDe.  1st Place – Most ElegantCouple # 7 Michael GeRue and Ashley.  2nd Place – Crowd PleaserCouple # 8 Dan Beechy and Nitaya.  2nd Place – Best Footwork.Couple # 9 Dr. Diana Jackson-Davis and Reggie. 1st Place – Best MusicalityCouple # 10 Michelle Straessle and Lenny.  1st Place – Crowd Pleaser.  AND  Top Fundraiser.  I was SO happy for this couple. Lenny, it’s true you are a star!  Next year Michelle will fill the seat as the 3rd judge in the competition.