Date: Saturday, Apr 21st, 2012

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Stuart’s Opera House

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One dollar at a time, “Dancing with the Athens Stars” is working to raise money for local non-profit organization Project Safe.

The fifth annual dance competition will benefit Project Safe, which provides aid to domestic abuse victims and works to end domestic violence.

Modeled after the popular television show, the show will feature dancing pairs, a local celebrity and a dance instructor, who will perform to win the votes of the spectators.

Anyone can vote, each vote costing one dollar, for any couple multiple times to donate to the cause.

The show will also raise money through ticket sales and donations during the show, all benefits going toward a final donation to Project Safe.

“It’s basically a dance contest for 10 couples from the Athens community,” said Rebecca Cheney, production team member and doctoral student in adult education at the University. “There is an instructor and a star from all different walks of life.”

Each couple will perform a dance they have been working on for months, and they are competing for either the Judge’s Pick Prize, which will be decided based on the couple’s performance, or the Audience’s Pick Prize, which will be awarded to the couple who raised the most money.

Cheney said the stars chosen to compete in the dance show are well-known, admirable representations of Athens.

“They are people who the Athens community can really get behind,” she said, “and who we think the community would really like to see on stage.”

Stand-outs in the star line-up include Bob Smith, a former Georgia State House of Representative, Barbara Dooley, wife of former University head football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley, James G. Thaw, president and CEO of Athens Regional Health Services and Karen Samuelsen, an assistant professor at the University.

Such a diverse group of participants all working towards a good cause through a medium of art will also provide entertainment.

“It is really fun and entertaining,” Cheney said. “The star and the instructor worked really hard. … They are all dancing for Project Safe, and a lot of them have personal experiences with domestic violence.”

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