Local stars gather to show off their dancing skills
by Kendra Hartmann
Sep 26, 2013 | 1446 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It’s been more than a year in the making, but the time has finally come for La Jollans to put on their dancing shoes and see who among them can sashay, tango and waltz with the pros.

La Jolla Dancing with the Stars will take place at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines on Oct. 5, and the event, though in its first year, promises to be a memorable one.

“This has been a labor of love for an extended period of time, but it’s exceeding our expectations,” said Nancy Gardner, La Jolla Town Council trustee and member of the event’s organizing committee. “We’ve been so well supported in the community and the dancers are getting really excited.”

The main event will, of course, be the dancing. Six women and four men from the community have been paired up with professional dancers for the competition, which will be judged by assistant police chief Shelley Zimmerman, La Jollan Ramin Porteymour, Billy Ray Smith and Scott Kaplan, and head judge Jonathan Roberts of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”

Audience members won’t be left out of the judging process, however. Though the judges will have an exclusive say in who wins the Judges Choice award, Gardner said, the rest of the awards will be handed out based on audience votes.

“There will be a lot of audience participation,” Gardner said.

Hosted by “Dancing with the Stars’” Mary Murphy, the event includes a three-course meal, live and silent auctions and a reception to start. Audience members should rest up for the evening as, after dinner, drinks and dancing competition, free salsa lessons for the crowd will be offered until midnight. And don’t expect to be bored, Gardner said.

“There could be some surprises,” she said.

La Jolla Dancing with the Stars begins at 6 p.m. in the hotel’s Fairway Ballroom overlooking the golf course and ocean. Tickets are $175 for a single, $325 for a couple and can be purchased through ljdancingwiththestars.com or by sending checks to La Jolla Dancing with the Stars, P.O. Box 1108, La Jolla, 92038. Event proceeds will go to the Las Jolla Town Council, La Jolla Community Center, La Jolla Christmas Parade and Holiday Festival, and Warriors and Quiet Waters, as well as worthy projects in the community.

“There have been a lot of hardworking people working through this event’s first-year foibles and restarts, and it has evolved into a beautiful show and fundraiser,” Gardner said. “We’re close to selling out. There has just been a groundswell of support from the community.”
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