The line to get into the James W. Warren Citizens Center for the fourth annual Dancing With Our Stars competition wrapped around the building Saturday evening and all seats were sold out prior to the event. Competition was stiff and the seven judges had their work cut out for them. All proceeds from this event benefit the Lincoln Cultural Center and are utilized to fund programs sponsored by the Cultural Center throughout the year. The event was organized by Cultural Center executive director Cathy Davis.
“We are thrilled with the event itself, all of the volunteers were awesome, the Citizens Center was packed, every dance team was incredible and the audience loved them,” Davis said. “The outcome of the proceeds exceeded $15,000, so that too is exciting. What a great night it was.”
Last year’s winners, Bryce Carey and Stacey McClain, emceed the event. The judges were Doug Croft, Kim Carrigan, Betty Flohr, Neil Underwood, Vanessa Leon, Shane Stephens and Mary Clair Brown. Local choreographers who assisted with the teams were Gwyn Reep, Kelley McManus Barker, Megan Richard, Bailee Eurey, Kim Noles and Amanda Cline Carpenter.
Twelve teams competed this year. Team number one consisted of City of Lincolnton councilwoman and owner of Ebony & White’s Funeral Service Mary Frances White and her partner, Dennis Poston, who works at Tenowo as a supervisor and is president of the Coalition of Churches. White and Poston danced a hot and spicy, yet elegant, number.
Team number two consisted of North Brook Elementary School principal Jennifer Carroll and Lincoln County Parks and Recreation employee Drew Chance. Carroll danced dressed as Scooby Doo, with Chance as Shaggy. Lincoln County Commissioner Rich Permenter danced with GE Massey Elementary School principal Kelly Withrow.
The number danced by husband and wife team Shelley and Shane Lockman told the story of their meeting at an ice skating rink. Shane Lockman performed part of the number on roller skates. Another husband and wife team, Sherry and Trent Carpenter, danced a beach number. Sherry Carpenter works as a personal computer technician at Gaston College and Trent Carpenter is a sergeant at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, as well as a captain at the Cherryville Fire Department.
Rachel Burch, who is a seamstress with Alterations and Sew Much More, and her husband, Joe Burch, who is a fireman for the City of Lincolnton, danced a hot disco number. There was plenty of sweet to be had in Kelly and Jonathan Austin’s routine and Jonathan Austin managed to stay out of the freezer. Kelly Austin is a pharmacist and Jonathan Austin is a dentist.
The lively Patty Dellinger, district director with the Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, and her partner, Jon Propst, a police officer with the City of Lincolnton, gave a tribute to the men in blue. Jane McGill, a realtor, and Jerry McGill, co-owner at Rock Fitness gym in Lincolnton, rapped with sharks. Allison Thompson and John Somers brought out the Lincolnton/West Lincoln rivalry in their routine. Thomas is a nurse with Lincoln County Hospice and John Somers is also an employee at Peoples Bank.
Mother and son team Candee and Paul-Allen Masters brought down the house with their Forrest Gump-themed routine that they choreographed themselves. Candee Masters is an artist and Paul-Allen Masters owns and operates Mobile Nerf Wars Events Company. The last team, Robin Bryant and Tony Dellinger, finished up with their number that shed light on the reason why so many of the competitors agreed to do Dancing With Our Stars, because “Cathy Davis made us do this.” Robin Bryant is a substitute teacher and volunteer and Tony Dellinger is a retiree from the North Carolina Division of Prisons.
While the judges’ scores were tallied, Miss Lincoln County Apple Queen Kayla Jackson performed a dance number.
The winner of the 2019 Dancing With Our Stars was Candee and Paul-Allen Masters.
“I haven’t danced in the past 10 years,” Paul-Allen Masters said.“My mom talked me into doing this. We did everything ourselves. My mother arranged the music and we made or borrowed all of the props.”
The only rule that Paul-Allen put on the routine was that there would be no touching because “that would be super awkward.” His favorite movie is “Forrest Gump,” which is what they wrote the choreography around. Included in the number were parodies from other popular movies including the “Lion King” and the “Titanic.”
The People’s Choice Award, raising an additional $1,845, was won by Allison Thompson and John Somers. The Fanfare Award went to Rachel and Joe Burch. The runner up team was Jane and Jerry McGill.