Dancing With the ARK Stars
The annual Dancing with the ARK Stars fundraiser brings together local celebrities and professional dancers for an evening of competition and fundraising. Proceeds benefit The ARK, a nonprofit organization that offers vital services to families living with Alzheimer’s or other dementia, such as respite care, support groups, caregiver consultation, education sessions, resource referrals and community learning activities.
On Saturday at Pinewood Preparatory School in Summerville, an event hosted by the Charleston Ballet Company and Charleston Youth Orchestra raised an incredible $83,000 – a new record!
Local celebrities such as a doctor of physical therapy, director of public relations and CEO are joining forces to raise money for The ARK. This nonprofit organization offers vital services to people suffering from Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia such as respite care, support groups, caregiver education and training, law enforcement training and first responder awareness exercises, plus community learning programs.
On May 21st at Lowcountry Conference Center at Summerville Hilton (406 Sigma Dr.), tickets for this year’s competition are on sale now!
Each celebrity will be paired with a professional dance partner from Ballroom Dance Charleston and compete in rounds, scoring points based on audience voting. In the final round, two couples will be judged for a chance to win either The Judges’ Choice Trophy or People’s Choice Award, chosen by viewers.
Helio Castroneves, Emmitt Smith, Gilles Marini and Mel B were back to judge the show for an encore performance of some of their most beloved routines from past seasons.
Season 12 saw the return of several celebrities, such as Derek Hough, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Cheryl Burke, Tony Dovolani, Mark Ballas, Lacey Schwimmer, Karina Smirnoff and Anna Trebunskaya. Peta Murgatroyd and Tristan MacManus also joined their former castmates who made the switch from being competitors on the show to professional dancers for the first time – joining other former cast members who had made that transition before.
Selma Blair earned four 8s for her quickstep routine, tying for the highest score of the evening with her new partner Sasha Farber. Before beginning the routine, Blair admitted feeling pressure due to her recent blindfolded performance; she wanted a high score this week so that she could wow the judges once more; and it appears she achieved just that!
Other notable moments of the night included Wayne Brady and Witney Carson’s jazz routine to “Wait For It” from Hamilton, in which Brady had starred. Len Goodman praised their performance as “exceptional” and left everyone in tears.
Celebrities such as Olympic figure skater Dorothy Hamill have also competed in the event, though she withdrew before results were announced due to a spinal cyst near her lower spine. Hamill had been scheduled for elimination that week but withdrew before any decisions had been made regarding her fate.