Faculty and staff dance for charity in Dancing With the CWRU Stars
Issue date: 3/19/10 Section: Focus
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Competitors run the gamut of faculty and staff positions at CWRU - from chemistry professor Michael Kenney, to vice provost Donald Feke, to the athletics department's Suzi Higgins. All are partnered with experienced dancers, many of whom own or teach at a Cleveland dance studio. A few are actually CWRU students: Bianca Rodeiguez, a sophomore dancer in the hip-hop troupe Urban Elementz, Ballroom Dance Society's Justin Chiou, professional dancer Shannon Liauw, and recent CWRU graduate Alex Hamberger. The experienced dancers are entirely unpaid and have been volunteering their time to teach and practice with the "stars," most of whom are beginners.
"At first it was scary," said dean Lynmarie Hamel, who has no prior dance experience of any kind. She and her partner, Andy Slimak, will be performing the foxtrot, a dance popularized in the first few decades of the 20th century and typically accompanied by ragtime or big band music. "[Andy] keeps saying, 'it's smooth,'" said Hamel, "and I'm like, 'I'm not smooth!'" Slimak teaches jazz, tap, ballet, modern, and ballroom at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Willoughby.