2014 COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – WIS Sunrise anchor Len Kiese is trading his suit and tie for a pair of ballroom dancing shoes, and he's asking for your vote.
He's one of 12 contestants that have been prepping to compete in the Lexington One foundation's upcoming Dancing with the Stars Lexington event.
"He's a quick learner," said Jamie Barrett, Kiese's ballroom partner from Columbia Ballroom Company. "He's got great rhythm, and he's a lot of fun," she added.
"It's so different than what I'm used to," said Kiese. "Because you know, you go to the club, you go to the party and do a little two step here and there, and you know, you feel good."
But this life of the party picked up a new pair of shoes to learn the ins and outs of the Cha-Cha for the annual fundraiser.
"I was kind of nervous to take those first moves," added Kiese.
But Barrett has been keeping Kiese on his toes. "We went at a snail's pace at first just walking through every step, and then picked it up," said Barrett. "The song is pretty fast."
Now the two are putting the finishing touches on a routine that Kiese will perform on May 1st at the Koger Center in hopes of beating out the 11 other contestants.
"I've seen some of the other competition, and it seems like everybody is doing a great job so it's definitely going to be a stiff competition this year," said Kiese.
At the heart of all the moves is the hope of raising money for the Lexington One Foundation.
"The money raised will go directly to the classrooms for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) labs," said Haley Bowers with Lexington One Foundation Board. "We also have some things like leadership skills development for our students. It's the leader in me program, and it's been very successful in our schools."
Kiese says while he's ultimately in it for the kids, he's going for the win and he'll continue to practice until he can't practice anymore.
The contestants will compete for the People's Choice award, which goes to the contestant who can get the most votes before and during the competition. You can vote for Len Kiese now and meet the other contestants at http://www.dancingwiththestarslexington.com/.
If you want to see him dance in person, you can purchase tickets at the Koger Center. The competition is May 1st and starts at 7:00pm.
The 2014 Dancing with the Stars, Lexington event has a wonderful cast of celebrity dancers from all around the Lexington and Midlands areas:
Chris Balish - Co-Owner of Garibaldi's of Columbia and Cola's Restaurants
Bert Dooley - Senior Partner, Dooley Law Firm
Kim Hicks, MD - Lexington Family Practice
Jennifer Holbrook - Lexington County School District One Educational Foundation Board Member and Parent
Len Kiese - WIS TV 10, Morning and Noon Anchor
Cheryl Layton - Executive Administrative Assistant to Dr. Karen Woodward, Lexington County School District One
Maria Mungo - Pilates by Maria and Villa Maria's Kitchen
Allison Sanford - Director of System Marketing, Palmetto Health
Katrina Shealy - Senator, State of South Carolina
Wally Steinhauser - Wingard's Nurdery & Garden Center, Co-Owner
Chris Wooten - Bodyshop Athletics and Top Spin Tennis & Racquet Club, Owner and Operator
Lorri Yarborough - Team ia and Palmetto Microfil Systems, Inc.
Don't forget to vote for your favorite celebrity dancer! Sponsorships are available. Contact the Educational Foundation at 803-821-1008 for more information.
The event, which raises money for the Lexington One Educational Foundation, includes local celebrities Mayor Randy Halfacre and business owners Rutu Bhonslé and Donna Shevchik.
Article by Tiffany Barkley, reproduced from the Lexington Patch. Click here for original article.
Lexington Mayor Randy Halfacre and other local celebrities are getting their groove on to raise money for the Lexington One Educational Foundation. The local stars are preparing to compete in "Dancing with the Stars Lexington" on April 22 at the Koger Center for the Arts.
The event, styled after the popular television show, “Dancing with the Stars,” helps support the foundation’s efforts to raise money to equip STEM Labs at Lexington One schools, redesign media centers to 21st Century Learning Commons and support professional development for teachers.
The local celebrities have partnered with professional dancers from Columbia’s Ballroom Company to form the 12 couples competing at the event. The couples have been training each week since Feb. 11. The local celebrities include:
Rutu Bhonslé, fashion designer and owner of Zebra Cleaners
Jennifer Corliss Trinkner, network marketing professional and professional swimsuit model
Beth Dinndorf, president of Columbia College
Dr. Amy Epps, cardiologist with Lexington Cardiology
Randy Halfacre, mayor of the Town of Lexington and president and CEO of the Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center
Lisa Herndon of Herndon Chevrolet
Cleve Johnson, business unit leader at Michelin North America Lexington Site
Mary King, reporter at WIS-TV 10
Beth Moore, Lexington High teacher and former Lexington One District Teacher of the Year
Otis Rawl, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce
Donna Shevchik, co-owner of Lexington Life Magazine and Lake Murray Life Magazine
Kim Williams, director of Human Resources for Lexington One
In addition to competing for Special Judges' Awards presented the night of the event, the dancers are competing for People’s Choice Awards determined by online voting taking place until the night of the event.
To vote for your favorite celebrity dancer and help the Lexington One Educational Foundation raise money for Lexington One schools, go to www.dancingwiththestarslexington.com. Click on “Vote.” On the page that comes up click on “Pay Now” under your favorite dancer, and then follow instructions for paying for your vote.
Tickets for Dancing with the Stars Lexington are $50 per person and can be purchased at the Koger Center Box Office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; charged by phone by calling 803-251-2222 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; or online at www.capitoltickets.com.