Written by Pathways of Hope supporter, Fritz von Coelln
“There is a bit of insanity in dancing that does everybody a great deal of good.” – Edwin Denby
Ultimately the good is for others, others less fortunate than we, others reaching out and we extending a hand, grateful for what we have and can share. Pathways of Hope is a helping hand for disadvantaged individuals and families in North Orange County.
Insanity! Eight “volunteers” succumbed to hidden urges to take the stage or acceded to dance by arm-twisting antics of Pathway of Hope personnel.
The judges acclaimed Dena David a perfect score worthy of the “Look Who’s Dancing Champion” trophy. Gracefully waltzing to Imelda May’s “Knock 123” and dynamically dancing the cha-cha to “Big Bad Handsome Man,” Dena impressed even William Lett, the most critical and exacting judge. Dena’s confidence and smile proved awesome.
Campaigning for sponsors clearly set Dena apart from her competitors as she received the “Money, Money, Money” trophy for raising the most money for Pathways of Hope. What a dynamic lady!
It was the audience’s vote that assured Fritz von Coelln the “People’s Choice” trophy. The “Barnum Bailey of Fullerton” captured the audience by choreographing and dancing to his arrangement of the “Phantom of the Opera.”
Including both professional dancers Rudy and Maria Hernandez to dance with Fritz was a first for the Look Who’s Dancing event. The dramatic opening of the “Overture” contrasting to “All I ask of You” and “The Music of the Night” depicted the devil (Rudy) succumbing to the Angel (Maria).
Ok, most of the audience missed the reference to Luke 4:10 (He will command His angels to guard you) and the drama imploded as Fritz swiveled his hips a la Michael Jackson. Judge, Betsy Azariah, could not contain her bewilderment between yin and yang.
Eight contestants pared up with Maria or Rudy (or both) in “Dancing with the Stars” style. Other contestants included:
Linda Holman steps out with Rudy to “I am Everyday People” by Sly and the Family Stone. Her disco interpretation demonstrated “different strokes for different folks.”
Minard Duncan, sporting his custom-made Zoot suit from Fullerton’s El Pachuco, bemused his audience with his smooooth dance to “A Zoot Suit for My Sunday Gal.” His partner, Maria, playfully coaxed him to dance the pachuco way — “so the other chicks will be jealous when I’m with my Sunday fan.”
At the age of 86 and years serving Fullerton schools, Minard has no fear of an audience but Judge William Lett “didn’t understand his disco interpretation.”
Tracy Hanson steps out with fancy footwork to “These Boots Are Made for Walking” prominently walking over Rudy, her partner. She makes sure he understands that “one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you.”
“The highlight for me was coming in 2nd place [for the Look Who’s Dancing Champion Award] —this was so far out of my comfort zone” Tracy says, “I worried that I would hurt Rudy.” “I would do it (dance for Pathways of Hope) again”
He demonstrated his “stuff” and lived up to his interest in serving first generation college students, student success and completion, equity and social justice. After all, who would believe that the President of Fullerton College would prowl the campus in that outfit?
Jason Phillips comes out grinding his guitar with a vibrant version of AC/DC’s “Back in Black” that’s “Outta sight.” Pastor Jason is an entertainer supreme as he discarded his love for guitar to dance the west coast swing with Maria.
“Jason shook everything he has. He’s certainly not shy or reserved” Judge Jack Bedell exclaimed.
David Gillanders claims that “he can’t dance to save his life but he’s gonna try his darndest!” Dancing to “Havemos de Ir a Viana,” an Argentine Tango, David and Maria heated up the floor.
The Tango is described as “the sweetness of the three minutes that can last a lifetime.” David’s passion galvanized the audience. Hmm, as Director of Pathways of Hope, his passion is now committed to ending homelessness and hunger in his community.
The fourth annual “Look Who’s Dancing” event was held at the Fullerton College Campus Theater, Thursday, February 8, 2018. Promoted by Pathways of Hope as a unique fundraiser; contestants are trained to dance by professional partners similar to “Dancing with the Stars.” Local businesses and the audience of 400 plus supporters raised over $67,000. Pathways of Hope is helping the homeless and needy with services including housing, food, counseling and other assistance.
Dancers received certificates from the California Legislative Assembly in recognition of: “Your dedication to supporting Pathways of Hope in their efforts to end hunger and homelessness” signed by Sharon Quirk-Silva, thAssembly Member, 65 District.
Fullerton businesses generously supporting “Look Who’s Dancing” included: American Technologies, Inc., S & R Air Conditioning and Heating, Inc., Julie Loeb RealtyOneGroup, McGarvey Construction Company, Museum of Teaching and Learning, Redwood Hyperion Suites, Cara LaGreen Entertainment, Author Jeanette Reese, Fullerton Flashers, KB Construction, Envirocheck, Matador Cantina, Lipsense by MacKenzie, Custom AutoSound, Inc., Law Office of Ronald Christopher Stock, George Montgomery of State Farm, PW Stephens Environmental, Developers Edge, Allco Fullerton Insurance Agency, Inc., RMH Dance and Production Center, Trig Real Estate Consultants, Heroes Bar and Grill, Atterholt Construction & Interiors, Inc., Kyle Beym General Contractor, Fullerton First UMC, Yasamin Farhad Therapist, Aims Printer Repair, Hart Academy of Dance, Vino Nostra, Yardin Wines, Park Vista Health C enter, Huntress Salon, Bourbon Street, The Bowery and many more.