11 / 3
      12 / 2
      6 / -5

      The stars prepare to dance in Marquette County

      There are numerous charitable events in Upper Michigan, each with their own unique attraction. The U.P. Home Health Hospice has found an interesting way to reach out to the community for support.

      Dancing with the Stars is a TV phenomena and is happening here in Marquette County on May 23. Tapping into local community talent, I have the dubious honor to be a contestant in Dancing with the Stars, Marquette County.

      We're obviously beginners. My wife, Anne, who is a teacher, and myself are competing with seven other couples for the coveted Mirror Ball. This event is a major fundraiser for the U.P. Home Health Hospice and private duty foundation.

      This is raw talent. There is a lot to remember--keeping in step, not stepping on the other person, the music--let's just say it's not as easy as it looks.

      I guess the hardest part is learning the routine of dancing. I'm not a dancer.

      "I'm actually teaching them how to dance and then after I teach them how to dance, then I'm adding choreography," said instructor Camilla Mingay.

      Each couple has a specific dance to learn and a coach to teach them. Our dance is the Tango.

      "Because some of the moves takes a lot out of you, you have to be very strong and be very flexible," Mingay explained. "Well, I was really surprised that I was able to throw in some aerials and some of the fancier dips."

      Our dance routine is primarily American Tango with some Argentinean twists. It is a new experience with unexpected consequences.

      "I have students running up in the hall asking me if I'm on Dancing with the Stars, and I say, yes, and then I realize they think I'm on the real show," said Anne Asplund.

      Dance couples are judged in two areas. One area is online voting, and the more the better. Each vote is a $10 donation. The other half of the competition is the dance performance. You can see that on May 23 at Forest Roberts Theatre.

      "I'm having more fun than I thought I would," Anne Asplund added.

      The event is a great cause, and we're having a lot of fun.