United Way looking for stars

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Group needs nominations for dance competition

A dancing deadline looms in Denton.

The United Way of Denton County is seeking nominations for people to compete in its version of the popular television show Dancing with the Stars.

Members of the Texas Woman’s University dance department will help nominees prepare for the competition, which will be a part of the United Way’s campaign finale festivities Jan. 26.

The countywide charity raises money each year for area nonprofit groups that meet community needs in education, health and human services. Campaign volunteers and United Way staff are planning an event that also includes dinner, music, recognition and other entertainment at the Marriott Hotel at Champions Circle near Texas Motor Speedway in Roanoke.

Nominations for the dance competition can be made by e-mail to unitedtribute@unitedwaydenton.org through Friday. From Nov. 10-22, friends can vote on the United Way website, www.unitedwaydenton.org, for their favorite nominees to compete.

The top vote-getters — “four willing men and four willing women” — will be in the competition, said Gary Henderson, executive director of the United Way of Denton County.

Gladys Keeton, TWU dance professor, said once competitors are named, she and the students will figure out the dance teams.

The plan is to learn the routines for several dances as a group and then have the students partner with a competitor for several weeks.

“We’ll start in November with some rehearsals to teach the basic steps,” Keeton said.

After they pair up, the competitors will be able to practice the dance with the variations that can personalize their routine.

Keeton has done this before to help service organizations raise money, and it works well, she said. Sometimes the competitors already know how to dance but not always.

“They’ll have some time and have somebody to work with them,” Keeton said. “It’s free dance lessons.”

Tickets for the benefit event will go on sale in December, Henderson said.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881. Her e-mail address is pheinkel-wolfe@dentonrc.com.

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