Dancing with Our Stars raises money for Meals on Wheels


Julie Booth knows she will have mixed emotions.

Dance instructor Rob Jenkins with Julie Booth have been rehearsing since June. (Submitted photo)

“I am both looking forward and nervous for it,” Booth said. “I absolutely love to dance but I know once I am out there with all the eyes watching, my adrenaline and nerves will kick in. I tend to put high expectations on myself and want so badly to do well that it overpowers my ability to relax and have fun. I want to have the mindset of just have fun with it and enjoy the experience and learn from it.”

Booth will participate in Dancing with Our Stars from 6 to 9 p.m. Sept. 6 at Embassy Suites by Hilton in Noblesville. St. Vincent is the presenting sponsor for the event, which benefits Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County.

Among the participants are Zionsville resident Kristi Lee, co-host of “The Bob & Tom Show,” and Chris Jensen, Noblesville Common Council member who is running for mayor in 2019

Booth, an owner and managing director of aFit, which is focused on providing information technology, said dance instructor Rob Jenkins has worked with her to incorporate a statement about the evolution of women from mostly being the worker bees in the ‘80s to being in leadership positions and owning businesses.

“Being someone who has often been the only, or one of very few, women in a room full of men ever since my engineering degree at Purdue to owning my own business, it makes this especially personal to me,” Booth said. “We have come a long way yet still have more to do.”

Booth eagerly accepted the challenge to participate.

“When I was asked, I thought, ‘Wait, I can help a worthy cause and dance at the same time? I am so in,’” she said. “I love to help others. My mom used to volunteer for Meals on Wheels many years ago. Knowing I am helping people is a big deal. And I just love to dance, so it is the perfect combination.”

Booth has danced routines in front of small audiences in Darren’s Ballroom showcases and ballroom competitions.

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“No one watches ballroom competitions. I do them to challenge myself. And showcases have a very small audience and are not competitive at all,” she said. “So, the amount of people at this venue, having it be a DWOS format, and that I learned a brand new difficult dance in a short amount of time, all makes this much harder than anything I have done before.”

Riverview Health Chief Financial Officer Brenda Baker, a Noblesville resident, has attended the event the last couple of years.

“It will be great to be a part of it,” Baker said. “I am just a little nervous about the performance. (Dance instructor) Suresh (Nair) is amazing, and I know that he will help me through it.”

Baker served on the board of Meals on Wheels for seven years. 

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“It is an amazing organization that fills a need in our community,” Baker said. “I also occasionally deliver meals and have seen firsthand the impact that Meals on Wheels has on the individual clients.”

Derek Burton, a Fishers resident and Meadow Brook Director of Community Relations, is eager to participate.

 “I was nervous in the beginning, but my partner has helped me get past that feeling,” Burton said. “I am all about trying new things.”

Mike Wickham, a loan consultant for Caliber Home Loans, said he is fortunate to help a good cause while having fun.

ND DANCING STARS 0904 Wickham pic

“I am very much looking forward to this event to help the cause for Meals on Wheels along with having some video footage of me dancing for my 4-year-old twin boys to get a good laugh,” said Wickham, who has been a spectator at the event for a few years.

Denise Abshire is another participant from McCordsville. Other dancers from Carmel are Michael Rothberger and Anne White. Other participants are Tom Ferrera, Fishers, and Indianapolis residents Dani Aleksa and Beth Cook.

For more, visit mealsonwheelshc.org/dancing-with-our-stars-2018/.