Couples across Lincoln County are perfecting their dance routines and brushing off their dancing shoes in preparation for the fourth annual Dancing With Our Stars. The 12 couples competing this year include a member from the Lincolnton City Council, one from the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners, a firefighter, a City of Lincolnton police officer, a Lincoln County deputy sheriff, a dentist and a pharmacist, a retired correctional facility worker and two Lincoln County Schools principals.
The competition is being held Saturday at 7 p.m. at the James W. Warren Citizen Center in downtown Lincolnton. The event will be emceed by last year's winners, Stacey McClain and Bryce Carey. All proceeds benefit the Lincoln Cultural Center. During intermission, this year’s Lincoln County Apple Queen, Kayla Marie Jackson, will perform a dance number.
The first competition, which was organized by Cathy Davis, the executive director of the Lincoln Cultural Center, was held at the Cultural Center but it grew out of that venue and had to be moved to the Citizens Center, which seats a larger audience. Holly Poole Perkins took over the event for two years and Davis is organizing it again this year.
“This year, we have people from the east and the west and central parts of Lincoln County,” Davis said. “It’s great entertainment for $10.”
The 2019 Dancing With Our Stars teams will perform in this order:
Team Number 1 - Mary Frances White and Dennis Poston
Team Number 2 - Jennifer Carroll and Drew Chance
Team Number 3 - Kelly Withrow and Rich Permenter
Team Number 4 - Shelley and Shane Lockman
Team Number 5 - Sherry and Trent Carpenter
Team Number 6 - Rachel and Joe Burch
Team Number 7 - Kelly and Jonathan Austin
Team Number 8 - Patty Dellinger and Jon Propst
Team Number 9 - Jane and Jerry Mcgill
Team Number 10 - Allison Thompson and John Somers
Team Number 11 - Candee and Paul-Allen Masters
Team Number 12 - Robin Bryant and Tony Dellinger
City councilwoman Mary Frances White and her partner, Dennis Poston, have been burning the midnight oil at Xtreme EDGE Dance Studio and are being coached by Kimberly Noles.
“While at a meeting they started talking about Dancing With Our Stars and they said, ‘Mary Frances, you’d be a good one,’” said White, who is also a member of the Cultural Center board of directors. “I said I’d think about it but before I left I said okay. We’re having a lot of fun.”
When White called Poston to ask if he’d be her dance partner, he said he didn’t hesitate and said yes right away because it would be “an honor and a privilege to be her dance partner.”
Early details were not revealed about White and Poston’s dance routine, except that they were “number one.”
Team number seven consists of husband and wife team Kelly and Jonathan Austin. They are also coached by Noles. Jonathan Austin is a dentist and Kelly Austin is a pharmacist.
“When you’re involved in the community, you get volunteered for stuff,” Jonathan Austin said. “It’s awesome. I’ve never danced in a public setting that wasn’t after 11 p.m. though.”
Kelly Austin has had a little more experience in public performances as she did some cheering while in high school.
“Our routine is going to be sweet and spicy,” Jonathan Austin said. “That’s all I’m going to reveal.”
Dancing With Our Stars will be held this Saturday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. at the James W. Warren Citizens Center. Doors open at 6 p.m. All seats are $10. Proceeds from this event will provide ongoing support for operations and programming at the Lincoln Cultural Center. Tickets are available at the Lincoln Cultural Center and from any team member.