Dancing way to the black

Published 10:01 am Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Fine-tuning a popular idea to turn it into a benefit for any organization, but certainly for a non-profit, is not just smart. It has to be done.

That is what the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center’s director Carol Allen has done. She has taken the national television show, “Dancing with the Stars,” to create a Tri-State version called “Dancing with Our Stars.”

The reason was simple. When Allen took over the Ashland-based museum it had what she called considerable debt.

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To keep the doors open for the center geared for children and Tri-State history buffs, Allen just had to do something.

So she went out and recruited some of the best dancers in the area and convinced celebrity amateurs to get on the dance floor and show off.

This past Saturday was the third annual event that drew 11 local celebrities and their dance partners who choreographed their routines and spent countless hours after work and on weekends practicing.

“All three have been an extreme success, “ Allen said that night. “We have a great group of professional dancers who make our celebrities look wonderful.”

Among those professional dancers this year were Ironton’s Rick Payne and Maria Whaley, director of the Ashland Youth Ballet, teacher at St. Joseph High School and an Ironton resident.

We commend everyone involved from dancers to audience. But most importantly executive director Allen who had the creativity and initiative to come up with an event everyone enjoys and keep a popular venue in the black.