Second annual Dancing with the Hermiston Stars coming up

<p>Bryn Browning and dance partner Joey Williams perform during ‘Dancing with the Hermiston Stars’ last year.</p>

The Dancing with the Hermiston Stars event was so popular last year the Desert Arts Council of Hermiston decided to bring it back once again.

Six Hermiston prominent community members will take the stage Jan. 11 at Hermiston High School to groove beneath the disco ball or perform the waltz, tango or another dance type of their choice.

After the performances, audience members will be able to cast their vote for their favorite Hermiston star using their ticket stub. Every stub counts as one vote, and the Desert Arts Council will donate $1 from the cost of each ticket stub to the charity of the contestant’s choice. People may also purchase additional votes for $1.

“They all have a personal connection with the charity that they are working for,” Desert Arts Council member Mary Corp said of each contestant.

Corp said when trying to decide who to ask to participate in the event, she said organizers try to find people who are really community-minded and willing to put themselves out there for the good of the Hermiston community and their charity. She said many of them have little to no dancing backgrounds, which makes the event pretty challenging.

“We owe them big time for their willingness to be able to get up there on stage,” she said. “We found last year that people were really gracious and courageous — both. It has been a lot of fun.”

Prior to performing, the contestants select a type of dance to perform. Each then practices with ballroom dancers from the Utah Ballroom Dance Troupe throughout the week leading up to the performance at Hermiston High School. The Utah dancers will also act as the contestant’s partners during the live performance.

Each pair will perform their dance numbers during the first half of the event. During the second half, the Utah Ballroom Dance Troupe dancers will perform additional dance routines. During intermission, people will also be able to make donations to each of the charities, if they would like, in addition to casting their votes for their favorite contender.

Corp said last year’s event was a lot of fun, and each of the contestants had a great time.

“We had a good turnout, and people were really responsible in giving to different charities.”

She said last year’s event raised approximately $4,700 for local charities, and this year she hopes to raise just as much or even more.

Corp said currently, people can make donations through the Desert Arts Council website at http://www.desertartscouncil.com/. Starting today, people will also be able to ‘like’ photographs of each of the contestants on the Desert Arts Facebook page, which will count as additional votes. To like the photographs, visit https://www.facebook.com/DesertArts.

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