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CALDWELL — Ballroom dance has taken the nation by storm, thanks in part to popular television hits like “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance.” Friday, Caldwell Fine Arts debuts its 52nd Performing Arts Series when it teams up with local celebrities and the Utah Ballroom Dance Company to bring the thrill, color and excitement of ballroom dance to the Jewett Auditorium stage at The College of Idaho.

Dancing with the Caldwell Stars promises to be a magical night of entertainment.

The Utah Ballroom Dance Company features some of the nation’s top ballroom dance athletes. The troupe has received numerous awards and is the winner of the coveted U.S. National Formation Championships. These professionals will team up all this week with six local “stars” who have little or no dance experience. The local celebrities will rehearse nightly, Monday through Thursday, in preparation for Friday’s show. The Utah company will teach a ballroom dance routine that will be presented to a team of judges and the audience. The combined scores will determine the Dancing with the Caldwell Stars champion.

The audience will be treated to traditional and Latin ballroom dance styles, both by the local performers and the Utah Ballroom Dance Company professionals. Each dancer will choose the type of dance they will perform.

The lineup of local celebrities includes Alexis Bennett (Miss Caldwell Night Rodeo 2012 and a College of Idaho student), Julie Taylor (CEO of West Valley Medical Center), Tracy Kasper (Co-owner of Silverhawk Realty), Jasper LiCalzi (Professor of Political Economy at The College of Idaho), Scott Gipson (President of Caxton Printers) and Alan Bullard (Sr. Vice President of Intermountain Community Bank).

Judges for the event include Joe Golden, a C of I theater professor and a staple of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s Green Show and Amber Barnes, director of The Dance Academy and a rehearsal teacher for Eugene Ballet’s local student “Nutcracker” cast.

Adding to the glitz and glamour of the evening will be the jewelry contestants will wear. Each dancer will be adorned with high-end designer jewelry by Park Lane Jewelry. Park Lane provides the jewelry for numerous TV shows, including “Dancing with the Stars.” Area manager Nikita Lang from Caldwell has donated the use of the jewelry that was used on this past season’s shows.

“We think it will add some extra pizzazz to the dancer’s costumes that are being provided by the Utah Ballroom Dance Company,” CFA manager Sylvia Hunt said.

Free ballroom dance lessons

Caldwell Fine Arts will present a series of free ballroom dance lessons for the community. The classes will be taught by local professional ballroom instructors Kevin Hunt of Captin Dance and Lori Gonzales of Teach Me Tango. On Tuesday, they will teach Beginning Waltz. Thursday, they will teach Night Club Two-Step. Both classes are at Jewett Auditorium and will run from 7 to 8 p.m. No registration is required.

Concert Insight Dinner

Prior to Friday’s performance, join your friends for a no-host Concert Insight Dinner presented by Bon Appetit at Simplot Dining Hall on the College of Idaho Campus. Eat any time between 5:15 and 7 p.m. Enjoy a short program with insights about ballroom dance at 6 p.m.

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