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Dancing fundraiser moves to October

Dance teams in the popular Dancing with the Docs fundraiser in Marietta have a few more months to practice.

In light of the nationwide coronavirus outbreak, the fifth annual Dancing with the Docs has been moved from April 18 to Oct. 17 at Peoples Bank Theatre.

Eight two-person teams of dance instructors paired with doctors have started practicing their dance moves in anticipation of a night in the big stage spotlight.

The teams now have six more months to prepare, “polish their moves,” instead of the original eight weeks when the event was scheduled for April, said Brian Anderson, creative assistant for the competition. Anderson will once again be dancing with Dr. Katrina Barnes as the duo was the fan favorite trophy winner last year. Barnes and Anderson raised the most money — $6,442 — in donations.

Joining Barnes as dancing doctors will be Christopher Beverly, Michelle Brauer, Carter Gillespie, Jona Hall, Derek Howe, Jessica Kidd and Heather McCarter.

This year’s dancing doctors include dentists, veterinarians, a chiropractor and an assistant professor of psychology, Anderson noted.

The instructors help the doctors with their dance routines for the competition.

Dance routines will feature Latin ballroom, jazz, tap, pop rock and Motown Funk. Each team has a minimum of one minute, 30 seconds and a maximum of two minutes to dance.

The dance teams also create a music video that is shown to the Peoples Bank Theatre audience. Anderson described these videos as creative and entertaining to the audience.

The teams will be raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio (Columbus) and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern West Virginia (Charleston), the closest RMHC houses to Marietta, Anderson said. The houses provide a free home for families whose children are receiving medical treatment at a nearby hospital.

Last year’s event raised over $52,000 and the total raised for four years of Dancing with the Docs is almost $250,000, Anderson said.

The fundraiser was created by Laurie Strahler, McDonald’s franchise owner in Marietta, Anderson said.

The celebrity judges will be Bill Ruud, Bill White and Gel Tracewell. Master of ceremonies will be Johnny Wharff.

Jade Traugh of Vienna is looking forward to defending her title as part of the winning dance duo. Traugh and Dr. Allen McElroy won the Mirror Ball Trophy last year. Traugh will be dancing with Dr. Christopher Beverly this year.

All 944 tickets were sold for last year’s Dancing with the Docs. Many tickets have already been sold for this year’s event, which begins at 7:30 p.m., Anderson said.

Tickets will be held for those who have purchased seats for the April competition, which is now Oct. 17, Anderson said. Ticket-holders can request a refund, he said.

For updates on the competition go to Dancing with the Docs Facebook page. Voting for a dancing doctor can be done at DWTD2020.givesmart.com.

Tickets can be purchased at Peoples Bank Theatre, 740-371-5152.

Contact Paul LaPann at plapann@newsandsentinel.com

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