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Museum event deemed success

Brenda Martin and Rick Payne perform a salsa dance during the Dancing with Our Stars event Saturday evening.

Brenda Martin and Rick Payne perform a salsa dance during the Dancing with Our Stars event Saturday evening.

CATLETTSBURG, Ky. — The third annual Highlands Museum and Discovery Center’s Dancing with our Stars fundraiser was a success Saturday evening as 11 local celebrities and their dance partners stole the show at the Boyd County Community Center. The event is the museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

“When we started, we were looking for a premier event and found it with Dancing with our Stars,” Highlands Museum executive director Carol Allen said. “This is our third year and all three have been an extreme success. We have a great group of professional dancers that make our celebrities look wonderful.”

Allen said the money is used to help with educational exhibits at the museum as well as upgrades that the museum needs.

Following dinner, Allen gave the crowd a welcome before the dance competition began. Serving as the Masters of Ceremonies were executive director of Greenup County’s Tourism and Convention Commission and Kool Hits 105.7 sports broadcaster Bobby Allen and Emmy award winning WSAZ anchor Melanie Schafer. Judging the competition were Chanel Collette, Tyson Compton and Richard Reames.

Winning the Mirror Ball trophy for first place was celebrity dancer Ross Turner, a community pharmacist who works at Stultz Pharmacy, and his dance partner Rachel Ferguson, of Tammy Jo’s Dance Studio, for their jazz combo routine. Turner and Ferguson claimed the People’s Choice award as well.

Second place was taken by celebrity dancer Dr. Hazel Yang, an internal medicine and endocrinology specialist at King’s Daughter’s Medical Center, and her dance partner Ryan Adkins, an information technology worker at Marshall University and former dancer at Tammy Jo’s Dance Studio, for their cha-cha. Third place was claimed by celebrity dancer Kyle Robinson, owner of Print My Threads screen printing business, and his dance partner Lauren Gibbs-Burgess, owner and operator of Tammy Jo’s Dance Studio and Reagan and Ryder’s Children’s Boutique, for their New Age Salsa.

Receiving the newly added Judge’s Choice Award this year was celebrity dancer Tiffany Charles-Jobe, director of the Boyd County Senior Center and Ashland Beacon journalist, and her dance partner Garrett Campbell, of the Y’Vonne DeKay Dance Studio in Ironton, for their contemporary dance routine.

“We started practicing in October,” Charles-Joe said. “But tonight’s been the fun part with the hair, makeup and crowd. Everyone’s been supportive and it’s a lot of fun.”
First, second and third place winners were determined by the number of $1 votes each couple received, while People’s Choice was based on the crowd and Judge’s Choice was determined by the three judges.

Other couples who competed include Greg Jackson, human resources manager for the Marathon Petroleum Company’s Catlettsburg Refinery, and his dance partner Erin Strait, of Tammy Jo’s Dance Studio; WSAZ anchor Amanda Barren and her dance partner Wyatt Wheeler, a Northern Kentucky University student with an extensive background in dance; Sean Whitt, attorney at VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP, and his dance partner Barbarann Wheeler, owner of Barbarann’s School of Modeling and Personal Development; Amanda Clark, adult program supervisor at the Boyd County Public Library, and her dance partner Aaron Lewis, a student at Ashland Community and Technical College who also participates at the Paramount Arts Center and JAX Theatre; Judge Executive of Boyd County Steve Towler and his dance partner Maria Whaley, director of the Ashland Regional Dance Theatre; Brenda Martin, advocate, keynote speaker and workshop facilitator, and her dance partner Rick Payne, of the Paramount Arts Center; and Christie Addington, real estate agent with Executive Properties, and her dance partner Shaun Terry, hip-hop dance instructor at the Paramount Arts Center, Stars R Us Theatre Troup and the Huntington Dancers Guild.

“All the dancers work really hard,” Emily Roush, Highlands Museum education and marketing director, said. “It’s just a great time.”