Doctor learns to dance for fundraiser

Photo Provided Muskingum Park in Marietta was one of the places where Dr. Allen McElroy and Jade Traugh practiced for Saturday’s Dancing with the Docs dance competition and fundraiser.

MARIETTA — Dr. Allen McElroy is not an experienced dancer.

In fact, he has no interest in dancing, he admits.

But McElroy has been practicing his dance steps for several weeks in anticipation of Saturday night’s Dancing with the Docs fundraiser at Peoples Bank Theatre in Marietta.

McElroy will be dancing on the theater stage Saturday because it will raise money for the Ronald McDonald Houses in Columbus and Charleston.

This is a worthy cause — helping children and their families, he said. Families stay at Ronald McDonald Houses for free or a low-cost donation while their children are receiving medical care at a nearby hospital.

McElroy is one of eight local doctors paired with an instructor/dancer for the fourth annual event. A total of $71,000 was raised last year.

McElroy’s dance partner is Jade Traugh of Vienna. She is an experienced dancer who loves to dance.

Traugh danced for Kelly’s School of Dance and the Mid-Ohio Valley Ballet Company while growing up. As a teenager she toured with All American Cheer and Dance and performed at the Orange Bowl Parade in Miami with Miss USA and at the Pro Bowl halftime show in Honolulu.

Dancing with the Docs has brought back “old entertaining roots” for Traugh, she said.

McElroy said Traugh is doing a great job preparing him for Saturday’s dance competition. She is talented and patient with a “non-dancer,” he said.

They have been practicing two or three days a week for about an hour each time since February.

They must practice around McElroy’s busy and sometimes unpredictable schedule as a general surgeon and trauma medical director at Marietta Memorial Hospital.

McElroy and Traugh have practiced their dance moves at Marietta Memorial Hospital, at dance schools, the Lafayette Hotel ballroom, the YMCA and in Muskingum Park when the weather is nice.

McElroy said he was hesitant at first when asked to participate in Dancing with the Docs, but agreed because of the cause it funded.

Traugh said she was asked to join the dance competition when another instructor/dancer could not participate.

She said she is prepared and excited about Saturday’s competition.

“I am honored to be part of the cast this year,” Traugh said. “It’s been so much fun.”

McElroy has worked hard on his dance performance for Saturday’s show, Traugh said.

He selected a classic song from the 1950s for their two-minute, nine-second routine, which Traugh choreographed.

“We will do our best,” McElroy said. “My goal is to raise money.”

The three judges will determine awards for technical talent and runner-up and an award goes to the team raising the most money (fans favorite).

All 944 tickets have been sold for Dancing with the Docs, sponsored by McDonald’s of Marietta. Online voting ends at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, but more donations will be accepted from the audience inside the theater.

To vote for your favorite dancing doctor go to