Just as in the ABC television series that inspired the local competition, a coveted mirror ball trophy is on the line for contestants in Dancing With the Chattanooga Stars. The contest benefiting programs of the Partnership for Families, Children & Adults will be held Saturday, June 21, at the Tivoli Theatre.
The contest typically pairs a community leader with a professional dancer from the Fred Astaire Dance Studio on Lee Highway. This year, for the first time, the contest will include a husband-and-wife amateur team, Jonathan and Lindsay Frost, as a couple. The other contestants, each paired with a pro, are Tim Bryant, Brennan L. Francois, Tracie Lesar, Hodgen Mainda, Jennifer McFarland, Diane Parks and Belinda Winsett.
IF YOU GO
■ What: Dancing With the Chattanooga Stars.
■ When: 8 p.m. Saturday, June 21.
■ Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
■ Admission: $25-$150
■ Phone: 423-697-3829.
■ Website: www.partnership.com.
Also appearing on the Tivoli stage will be local professional dancers Kyle Barels and Natalie Honkonen, who were named the Closed Rhythm Champions at the Memphistown Invitational in Memphis on May 18.
Barels, who is co-owner of Fred Astaire Chattanooga, says this was their second consecutive win, placing first in all dances in their category. Competitive dance partners for two years, Barels and Honkonen are instructors at the studio when they are not on the road. Honkonen is also head of the ballroom class at Chattanooga Christian School.
"We are so lucky to be able to do what we love for a living and hope to inspire others to follow their dreams," Barels says in a news release.
DANCERS AND THEIR PARTNERSHIP CAUSES
■ Tim Bryant: Designer with T. Bryant Interiors and manager of Jos. A. Bank Clothiers at Hamilton Place. Dancing for the Rape Crisis Center.
■ Brennan L. Francois: Chief executive officer of Parkridge Valley Child & Adolescent Campus and Parkridge Valley Adult & Senior Campus, both in Chattanooga, and Mountain View Treatment Center, Jasper, Tenn. Dancing for Family Services Counseling Program
■ Jonathan and Lindsey Frost: The competition's first couple are dancing for the New Visions program. He is managing partner at J.D. Frost and Company. She is owner of Frost Designs.
■ Tracie Lesar: A volunteer active in the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, Medical Foundation of Chattanooga and various community fundraisers. Dancing for the Family Violence Center.
■ Hodgen Mainda: Director of client services and provider relations for MDP Management and One to One Personal Physician Network. The Nairobi native has lived in Chattanooga since 2008. Dancing for the Youth Services Program.
■ Jennifer McFarland: Executive director of security at ERMC in Chattanooga. Dancing for Partnership's Elder Services Program.
■ Diane Parks: Director of leadership and community development for the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce. Dancing for Family Financial Counseling Program.
■ Belinda Winsett: Realtor with Signature Brokers. Dancing for Deaf Services Program.