Gotta Dance meet and greet March 7 |

Gotta Dance meet and greet March 7

by Caryn Haller

Ron McCain and Monique Haviland-Fulstone rehearse the Lindy Hop.

Executive Director Debbie Posnien is amazed by how quickly tickets sold out for this year's Gotta Dance fundraiser.

People can still donate dancing dollars to any of the 10 contestants to benefit the Suicide Support Network of Douglas County.

"It's unbelievable. It's one of those kinds of fundraisers that people want to come to and be entertained," Posnien said. "Their support saves a life with so many activities we do throughout the Valley. We must keep talking about suicide and bringing awareness."

For people who didn't buy a ticket to the show, there will be a meet and greet with the dancers and a chance to donate 5:30 p.m. March 7 at Lentine's Italian Restaurant. There will be photos, autographs and appetizers. Last year's winner, Scott Smith, and some of this year's contestants will serve as guest bartenders.

"Please mention your favorite dancer's name if you'll be having a drink or dinner, as they receive extra credit for dancing dollars towards the event," Posnien said.

Former Douglas County School District Superintendant John Soderman and his partner Tracey Muetzenberg are performing the Samba in the competition.

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"I'm not a dancer so getting way outside of my element is fun," Soderman said. "She's thankfully a good instructor."

Muetzenberg said the Samba is no easy dance to master.

"There's nothing easy about ballroom, It takes a lot of thought," she said. "There's a lot of cha-cha steps and different timing and change of direction, and a lot of hips. It's Latin and very sensual and takes a lot of concentration."

Dancers will compete for first, second and third place, with the dancer who collects the most dancing dollars winning People's Choice. Last year's winners Scott Smith, Mary Swisher, Jessica Jensen and Dave Brady are serving as this year's judges.

Part of the reason behind volunteering for the fundraiser involves Soderman's work with Douglas County Search & Rescue.

"We end up searching for despondent and sometimes suicidal people. We've found a number of them before they could do it, and we've found some after the fact. So that's a real motivation," Soderman said. "It's for a tremendous cause."

Gotta Dance is 6 p.m. March 21 at St. Gall.

For more information, call 783-1510.

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