Sierra Lutheran teacher, coach dances for charity | RecordCourier.com

Sierra Lutheran teacher, coach dances for charity

by Katie Allin
Special to The R-C

Sierra Lutheran High School educator J.P. Albert wears many hats – Spanish teacher, P.E. teacher and assistant football coach. But this spring, Albert is also lacing up his dancing shoes. Partnered with Tracey Muetzenberg, Albert is competing in Suicide Prevention Network of Douglas County's Gotta Dance Competition. The competition is an annual fundraiser in the style of the popular ABC show. In this case, the "stars" are members of the community, who are willing to commit time and effort to learn a dance number with a local dance instructor. On Friday, 10 couples will take the stage, all for the charity's sake.

After he was asked to compete, Albert admits he had some reservations.

"I thought there has to be somebody better, or more important, to do this than me — how did I get chosen?" he said.

Albert will be performing a swing-style dance to "Hit the Road Jack."

He explained that he is enjoying the process.

"I know what I'm working towards, but I probably won't grasp all that it means until the night of the event. I have had friends take their lives, and in a way, I guess I am dancing for them. I look forward to seeing how this event impacts people who have used these services, or could use them even now," he said.

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But for Albert, the competition is not the end of his support for the cause.

"The best part is that I now have more knowledge and more awareness about this issue. As a high school teacher, when I see students struggle, I now know where to find resources for them," he said.

Each dancer is competing for a trophy based on the judges' scores and on the monies they have raised, called "Dancing Dollars."

Online voting and donating is available at http://www.spnawareness.org. All money raised stays in the community.

For more information about the Suicide Prevention Network, or the other Gotta Dance participants visit http://www.spnawareness.org.