Dancing with the Stars

Amy Poppinga

On Oct. 9, the glitz and glamour of show business will invade the Fishback Theatre in the Performing Arts Center as SDSU’s own version of Dancing with the Stars hits the stage.

Sponsored by the University Program Council and Alpha Psi Omega, the theater fraternity, Dancing with the Stars is a four-week, Tuesday-night series on Oct. 9, 16, 23 and 30. The grand finale, Oct. 30, will also feature a Battle of the Bands competition.

“This is an unprecedented event for SDSU,” Brady Mallory, the Showcase Coordinator for UPC and a junior broadcast journalism major, said. “This show is a big phenomenon in pop culture, and we coordinated the time to take place during the season of the television show.”

Much like ABC’s popular television show, SDSU’s version will couple five campus celebrities with trained choreographers. Each week, contestants will perform a different dance that will be evaluated by both the judges and the audience. At the end of the night, audience members will have a chance to vote for their favorite performances. The couple to receive the least amount of votes will be kicked off the show.

Contestants include SDSU stars: Cori Bortnem, Miss SDSU; Nathan Hofer, member of Sigma Phi Epsilon and Greek Life; Katie Jo Maguire, member of Residential Life and Arts and Science Senator; Sam Nelson, member of Student’s Association Senate; and Jodi Wuttke, Program Coordinator for Upward Bound. Choreographers are Rachel Foth, Nolan Hayes, Curtis Johnson, Abby Olson and John Zierke.

Bortnem, a senior liberal studies major for speech pathology, and her partner Hayes are already preparing. They have picked out songs and some dance moves for each of the four themed shows: Around the World, Motion Picture or Broadway Show Tune, 80s Rock or Pop and Freestyle.

Bortnem’s dance experience is minimal, and she says that she is a singer, not a dancer. Still, she was honored to be asked and is excited for this opportunity.

Her goal is not necessarily the $200 prize for the winners, but she wants to “have as much fun as possible, and take away lots of memories, not dance steps because I won’t remember those.”

On the other hand, Foth, who was the head choreographer for Capers last year, hopes that the show will instill dancing confidence in both the contestants and the audience. “I am really excited to be working with inexperienced dancers,” she said. “Many people think that they can’t dance, and I just want to prove that everyone has some dancing ability in them.”

Other than learning new dance moves and having something to do on Tuesday nights, Mallory believes that students should attend these shows for many reasons. “It’s a great event because of its many facets,” he said. “It is entertaining, creates performing arts appreciation and provides more opportunities to get involved.”

Bortnem agrees. “It’s going to be a really good and entertaining event,” she said. “People are already putting lots of work into this show, and I encourage people to attend.”