The names and audience members change, but there is one constant for Lorenda Carr in producing Dancing with Our Stars.
“It really has remained consistent in the way we structure the event,” said Carr, who has been the producer since the event’s start. “The crowds are mostly new every year because the contestants are different every year, so we don’t really feel the need to change too much. We have incorporated more social media and technology over the years, but the show itself has remained consistent. One of the things that our show is known for is the videos made to introduce each couple, just like on the TV show (‘Dancing with the Stars’).
“People really look forward to those because they are always really clever and entertaining.”
The ninth annual Dancing with Our Stars event is set for 6 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Noblesville. The fundraising event, whose presenting sponsor is Community Health Network, benefits Meals on Wheels in Hamilton County.
Carr is the founder and co-owner of Dance Innovations and owner and executive director of Circle City Dance Productions. As a producer and performer, she enjoys seeing the event all come together.
“I also enjoy connecting to and working with so many amazing people in the community,” Carr said. “I especially love that we are able to raise money for such an important cause.”
Carr said her role with professional dancers is to match them with local celebrities. She works with a videographer to get all participants set up for their shoot and works with the audio/visual company to design lighting for each dance. She plans the opening and closing of the show and serves as stage manager during the show.
Carr said she plans and runs scheduled individual private rehearsals the day before the show.
The business-casual event features professional dancers paired with some well-known Hamilton County residents who compete for the ultimate prize of being named champion. Audience members vote for their favorite dancer or dancers to win the night’s People’s Choice Award.
Lindsey McVey said being one of the dancers is a special challenge.
“(It’s) something completely out of my comfort zone but also something I’ll never get the chance to do again,” McVey said. “I’m also super proud to be doing something that’s so beneficial for the community. Meals On Wheels is an incredible organization that I’m happy to be supporting.”
McVey enjoys all aspects of participating.
“The preparation has been a blast,” said McVey, who owns Just Lagom, a women’s retail boutique in downtown Noblesville. “The song and routine are really fun, and my partner, Rob Jenkins, has been an amazing teacher. It’s definitely been challenging, though. Two practices a week for an hour each is no joke. And the routine is not easy.”
Fishers residents dancing include Sherese Martin, human relations manager at Rolls-Royce, part-time HR director with Conduct Curb Autism Behavior Center and associate faculty member at IUPUI, and Deb Kurtock. senior clinical research advisor at Pearl Pathways.
Carmel resident Debby Pileri, a competitive amateur tennis player and USTA umpire, is also competing.
Other celebrity dancers are Mimi Huang, ophthalmologist at 20/20 Eye Physicians; Jody Adams, Indy regional platform manager for Napleton Auto Group; Andrew Bradford, vice president and chief advancement officer at Conner Prairie; Steven DeLee, physician with Riverview Health; Kyle Moser, co-owner of Dance Innovations; and Alec Wolf, member of Wolfpack Restaurant Group.
Along with Jenkins, professional dancers include Scott Shook, Adam Trogdlen, Ed Godby-Schwab, Xavier Medina, Natasha Cox, Yulia Shook, Diana Miller, Olga Cansino and Kristen Motz.
To register, purchase tickets, donate, or vote visit mealsonwheelshc.org/dancing-with-our-stars/.
Serving important need
Dancing with Our Stars is Noblesville-based Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County’s primary fundraiser for the year.
“It is an important source of funds for our Sponsor A Meal Program that provides financial assistance for those unable to pay for all or a portion of their meals,” said Beth Gehlhausen, executive director of Meals on Wheels of Hamilton County. “This program continues to be vital for those struggling financially and are unable to prepare their meals due to a mental and/or challenge.”
Gehlhausen said they will be covering the event through Facebook Live for the second year,”.
“This will include behind-the-scenes interviews as well as guest interviews and will capture other aspects of the evening,” Gehlhausen said.
New this year is a performance by the Time Steppers, a performing tap troupe. The members are all seniors, but the group is open to any adult.