It's Time for High Point's Dancing Stars

Feb. 22, 2013 @ 07:56 PM

Calabrese Goes All In For CIS
Melissa Calabrese just missed last year participating in the Dancing with the High Point Stars event. This year, the former Shag dancer is all  in.
On Saturday, Calabrese, a real estate broker and insurance agent, will perform a Cha-Cha routine with partner Dmitriy Volodko  of the Fred Astaire Dance Studios to benefit Communities in Schools of High Point. Calabrese  has practiced once a week for the last six to eight weeks.
“I was competitive in Shag dancing in the early 1990s,” Calabrese said. “I’m getting back into shape. Dmitriy is wonderful and it is easy to learn with him. I’ve watched dancing on TV and never thought I’d have the nerve to do it.”
The local dancers will receive awards for most votes, best dance and best costume. Calabrese said she will try to remember to smile.
“I have to learn to be able to relax enough and remember to smile,” she said. “The steps have been pretty easy. It’s been fun to watch the others dance.”
Anyone can cast a “vote” for $10 without attending the event. There is no vote limit. Money from the event supports the CIS mission. The agency connects to more than 6,000 local students with enrichment programs.

Cothran Finds Challenge In Dancing
Matt Cothran has taken on his Dancing with the High Point Stars as a challenge, both physical and financial.
Asked by an event sponsor to participate in the fundraising event for Communities in Schools of High Point, Cothran, who is a sales representative for Smart Choice, soon turned his thoughts to winning.
“It is a challenge for you to get contributions for a great program,” Cothran said. “You want to win.”
Cothran will dance a Swing style dance with Fred Astaire professional dancer Meredith Fox. Cothran, who has no dancing experience, has been practicing for six weeks.
“I have enjoyed it and Meredith makes it fun,” Cothran said. “The hard part has been remembering all the steps and moves and putting it all together.”
The 2012 event was attended by 500 people and raised $45,000 for CIS programs. CIS graduates and volunteers will share their testimonies and successes of how their experiences have impacted their lives.
“The real winners will be those in the CIS programs,” Cothran said.

Nagem Has CIS Connections
Tammy Nagem has enjoyed a close relationship with Communities in the Schools of High Point for some time. That’s why she jumped right into the Dancing with the High Point Stars event.
The local “stars” have been paired with professional dancers from the Fred Astaire Dance Studios.
“CIS got me to High Point,” Nagem said. “I worked there. I could not say no.”
Nagem, who works with High Point Market Authority, wants to surprise the audience with her dance with Sasha Tsyhankov.
“I think people will be surprised when they see it,” Nagem said. “I danced when I was younger, but nothing like this.  This is new to me.”
Nagem has been practicing since December.
“I was nervous at the start,” she said. “The teachers are good at technique. I feel good about it now. The hard part has been making sure we have what we need for a good job.”
Dancing has been good exercise and fun, Nagem said.
“It is more fun than the gym,” she said.
Sponsors say the event promises a fun night of dancing with special performances from the Fred Astaire professional dancers. There also will be plenty of open dance time for everyone to enjoy.
“These professional dancers could not have been better for me,” Nagem said. “I have been very comfortable.”

These High Pointers also are participating in the Dancing with the High Point Stars event:

Nostalgia will be on the program for CeCe Biesecker of Cyoga Studios, a former ballerina, will  perform a “Jive” dance to the classic “Great Balls of Fire” with Fred Astaire Studios professional Gregory Mishura.

Wil Elder, president and chief executive officer of the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, will perform a Tango with professional partner Gulya Asgarova.

Rosalyn Pauling, manager of North Carolina employee communication and events for  Ralph Lauren Corp., will perform a Latin-style dance with Alosha Anatoliy.

High Point Mayor Bernita Sims has kept her performance details under wraps.  She is dancing with Dustin Hall.

Look for a surprise from Matt Thiel, an investment adviser. He will dance a Rumba with Dasha Chube. 
/David Nivens/

Dancing with the High Point Stars

What: A fundraiser for Communities in Schools of High Point
When: 6 p.m., today. 
Where: Showplace, downtown High Point 
Admission: $40 which includes one “vote” along with heavy hors d’oeuvres and beverages. 
Tickets and Voting: Visit, or call 336.883.6434, ext. 26, or visit the CIS office at 503 Ferndale Blvd.