Wrestler, dancer perform for students
Gardnerville and Meneley elementary school children were entertained and hopefully educated by the antics of Michael Darby and Smile last week.
“We work to help kids to discover the best part of who they are, and to treat each other with respect,” Darby said in an interview. “If we treat each other with respect, then we can disagree, but we can always be friends.”
Darby, who is a wrestler, said he was picked on all the time in high school.
“I was 6-foot 4 inches tall and weighed 137 pounds,” he said. “I used to get beat up all the time. Now I’m 300 pounds and 6-foot 6 inches tall.”
Darby graduated from high school in Ukiah, Calif., in 1994.
He took up wrestling and competed at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
He’s competed in Greco-Roman wrestling.
“I did get my hand raised, and I’ve never been pinned,” he said.
He performs with 28-year-old Las Vegas tap dancer Ashley Miller. The pair travel around the West visiting schools with their anti-bullying message.
“We were in Las Vegas, and we’ve been flown out to Hawaii, and we’re working on playing the whole country,” he said.
Miller graduated from Foothill High School in Las Vegas in 1999, but she was a veteran dancer even then.
“I’ve been dancing since I was 3 years old,” she said. “One of my passions is entertaining people. I get the kids to come up on stage. I love it, I have a lot of roles in the show.”