Dancing with the Aiken Stars is returning for its fourth year of friendly competition and fundraising this fall. Pairs and groups will be showing off their moves on Nov. 21 at the USC Aiken Convocation Center on the Robert M. Bell Parkway.
The popular event will start at 7 p.m.
“I think people who attend are most surprised by the wow factor,” said Betty Ryberg, who is the chair and co-founder of Dancing with the Aiken Stars. “They walk in, and it's glitzy. There are glitter balls and big-screen TVs. It's high technology mixed with Hollywood glam.”
Proceeds from the 2013 edition of Dancing with the Aiken Stars will benefit the Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County and the Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County.
Last year, the event raised more than $100,000 and the total generated for the first three years combined exceeded $200,000.
“We ask people in the community who are well-known, well-respected and well-liked to dance,” Ryberg said. “They work with wonderful choreographers from the community, and they get music and routines that suit them.”
This year's dancers will include Will Williams, director of the Economic Development Partnership of Aiken and Edgefield counties; Grant Wiseman, rector of St. Thaddeus Episcopal Church; Chuck Munns, former president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions; and Dr. Sandra Jordan, who is USC Aiken's chancellor.
Sales of the 50 tables for the event have been brisk.
All the tables for 10 on the second row, which cost $1,200 apiece, have been filled. A sponsor table for 10 on the first row is $2,000. A table for 10 on the third row is $900.
To purchase first-row tables, call Charlotte Holly at 803-215-2678 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Penny Rue at 803-226-0031 or email email@example.com. To purchase third-row tables, contact Chris Reichel at 803-221-7784 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get on the waiting list for second-row tables, call Beth Barranco at 803-599-3086 or email email@example.com.
Dinner, beer and wine are included with each table.
“After we sell all the tables, we will open up the stadium seating,” Ryberg said. “This year the prices will be $25 a seat or $30 a seat with a voting ticket.”
Votes will cost $10 apiece, and people will be able to make their choices online at www.aikendancers.info and/or at the event.
Voters also will be able to pay by check and mail in their selections, but the address where their choices can be sent won't be announced until later.
Voting will not start until after the Dancing with the Aiken Stars Kickoff Party for the dancers on Oct. 6 at Newberry Hall.
The judges for Dancing with the Aiken Stars will be Marie Durrett, Sallye Rich, Robert Shellhouse and Jesse Colin Young.
Prizes will be awarded to the pair and the group that receive the most votes. The judges will award a prize to their favorite among all the pairs and groups performing.
There also will be a people's choice award.
“We're going to have a surprise opening performance this year, and it's fantastic,” Ryberg said. “There will be two big-screen televisions on the floor for great viewing visibility, and the Gangnam Men will be back from last year by popular demand.”
Ryberg and Tom Williams of Floyd & Green will be the emcees for the event.
Dede Biles is anassignment reporter for the Aiken Standard.