Faizon Alexander (left) and May Carlson performed a merengue.
At Thomas Nelson’s inaugural “Dancing with the Stars” event, members of the College’s renowned ballroom dance team were paired with faculty and staff, not fellow students. That not only allowed College personnel to show off their dance moves, but they got to reveal a different side of themselves to students.
“I think that was the nice way to go, to get that interaction between the two,” said Kathie Anderson, one of the “Stars” who is also director of Financial Aid and Veteran Services. “I think (the students) got a kick out of it because they got to see people that, like the vice president of academic affairs, myself and other people that they may not have had an interaction with, they’re human too. I think that was the best part of it.”
May Carlson was another “Star.” She’s one of the ballroom dance club advisers and works in student accounting. She, too, thought the students benefited a great deal.
“It’s good to help the students and engage with them and encourage them,” she said. “I think the students had more fun. They like it when the (faculty and staff) volunteer.”
Pam Roberts, another of the club’s advisers and the event coordinator, said the hour-long event, which was held to showcase the College’s talented ballroom dancers, was a big hit, with more than 75 in attendance in the Dr. Mary T. Christian Auditorium on Sept. 28.
“We were really surprised,” she said. “We weren’t sure how many were going to show up.”
Kathie Anderson (left) and Ryan Maloney worked their way through a rumba.
Carlson and May both said they would do it again.
“It has sparked more interest from faculty and staff,” Roberts said, noting it was like “pulling teeth” to get people involved this year.
There already is talk of making it an annual event, but with a larger cast.
“We want to expand on it,” Roberts said.
Carlson also would like to see it grow.
“It would be very nice if more staff and faculty join it and get involved,” she said.
THE TEAMS (with faculty or staff listed first): Dr. Susan English (Vice President of Academic Affairs) and Dalton McAninch; Kathie Anderson and Ryan Maloney; Dr. Lynda Byrd-Pollard (Human Resources director) and Faizon Alexander; May Carlson (customer service representative in the Student Accounting office) and Faizon Alexander; Kadisia Archer (Student Life and Leadership coordinator) and D’Aundre Seldon; Shepard Graham (IT specialist) and Sarah Rutan; Matt Hedrick (assistant to the Learning Resources director) and Pam Roberts; Paige Maddox (financial aid accountant in the Student Accounting office) and J.D. Ellis.
TEAM MEMBER EXHIBITIONS: Meghan McCann and Dalton McAninch; Tiarra Johnson and D’Aundre Seldon; Tiarra Johnson and J.D. Ellis; Eme Bassey and Faizon Alexander; Meghan McCann and D’Aundre Seldon, Ryan Maloney and Kathryn Dunn, Ryan Maloney and Emily Williams, and Faizon Alexander and Tiarra Johnson.