Watching Dancing with the Stars on television certainly paid off for financial advisor Ron Bankofier on Friday night.
Bankofier and his partner, assistant bank manager Julie McCain, took home the first place disco ball trophy for the Suicide Prevention Network’s Gotta Dance competition.
“I’m really excited. I’m ready to go to the real deal,” Bankofier said after the show. “I owe it all to my partner and Ann and Craig (Peters). Debbie (Posnien) has a great program here.”
The couple danced the foxtrot.
“I’m jubilant and so proud of our fundraiser,” McCain said. “It’s all for a good cause. The competition was extremely competitive. I’m overwhelmed.”
As well as having a good time, former gang member and drug addict Daniel Wills spoke about the importance of Friday night’s fundraiser and Suicide Prevention Network.
“Debbie and the suicide prevention group has helped me find self love,” he said. “The suicide prevention group sees in us what we don’t see in ourselves. I’m grateful for Debbie and I’m thankful for the group.”
Prior to the competition, Shannon Montana said she was rooting for The Record-Courier’s own Tara Addeo and her partner Trevor Eddings.
“T and T we call them,” she said. “First of all I’m voting for them because it’s such a wonderful cause, and second of all they are going to tear it up with their dance number.”
Addeo and Eddings received rave reviews from the judges for their disco dance to the Bee Gees’ “You Should be Dancing.”
“It took all I could do to not get up and throw out some moves of my own,” judge Scott Smith said. “It brought back many nights at the Disco Express in Carson City.”
Boos erupted from the crowd, however, when the couple was given three, 8’s and one 9.5 for their score.
Smith was last year’s Gotta Dance winner, and served as judge this year along with former dancers Jessica Jensen, Mary Swisher and Dave Brady
“I’m looking for consistency in their dancing, the synchronization of their dance and if they’re having fun or not,” Smith said of his judging criteria.
Katie Brannan and her partner Dale Paul received a standing ovation from the crowd for their waltz.
The couple floated around the dance floor to “That’s Amore” while playfully passing a pizza back and forth.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Rick Koontz and his partner Michelle Lindsey received the only 10 of the evening from the judges with their tango.
Their scores earned them second place.
Performing the mambo, Juan Fernando Guzman and his partner Raechel Prosser placed third in the competition.
Craig and Ann Peters choreographed all 10 of the competition’s dance routines including the salsa, two-step, lindy and jive.
“It was difficult for everybody because the dances are not simple,” Craig said. “All of these people who are dancers now, weren’t dancers when they started.”
A survivor support group for those who have lost someone to suicide meets 6 p.m. the first and third Thursday of the month. A teen advisory group Living Out Loud meets 2:15 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of the month.
All meetings are located at 1702 County Road, unit A-3 in Minden.
For more information, call 783-1510.