Professors and students competing at ‘Dancing with the SRU Stars,’ March 23


Staff member dacing in the competition

Dennis Hemphill, a Slippery Rock University custodial work supervisor, was a contestant for the “Dancing with the SRU Stars” event in 2018. This year’s year event, which features five SRU professors, happens March 23.

March 17, 2022

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Just like on the reality television show "Dancing with the Stars," where celebrities learn to dance and compete with one another while partnered with a professional dancer, there's a similar event at Slippery Rock University. The dancers are students, and the "celebrities" are, well, at least well-known professors to those taking their classes who could achieve greater fame if they win the SRU competition, 7 p.m., March 23, at the Dance Studio Theater in Stoner West.

"Dancing with the SRU Stars" is an annual fundraising event hosted by the National Honors Society for Dance Arts' SRU chapter. The event is open to the public and tickets can be purchased online, $10 for general admission and $5 for students. Proceeds benefit the NHSDA Rising Sophomore Scholarship and the student who is part of the first-place couple will be awarded a $500 scholarship funded by the Eliott and Deb Baker Scholarship at SRU.

"This is a really great community-building event where our professors and our students interact with one another," said Rachel Male, a senior dance major from Columbia, who is the president of NHSDA at SRU. "It's also special to have one of our dance majors awarded a scholarship to support their educational endeavors."

"This is such a fun event that engages and it's a great way for the campus community to come together to watch our students and faculty dance," said Nora Ambrosio, professor of dance and faculty adviser for NHSDA. "We are thrilled to be able to host this event this year after not being able to have it for two years because of COVID-19. Now that performances can happen once again, we are grateful to the SRU professors who have stepped up to learn these dances and perform in order to benefit our scholarship fund."

Five professors have been paired with SRU dance majors to perform choreographed routines for a panel of judges, and, of course, to the delight of spectators. The duos have been rehearsing their routines once or twice a week since November. The judges are SRU dance faculty and former "Dancing with the SRU Stars" contestants.

The evening's dance card will include:

  • Michelle Amodei, associate professor of elementary education and early childhood, with Paige Bucha, a senior dual early childhood education and dance major from Allison Park.
  • Nicholas Katsiadas, instructor of English, with Samantha Oliver, a senior dance major from Annapolis, Maryland.
  • Jeremy Lynch, associate professor of special education, with Jade Daniels, a senior dual dance and exercise science major from Hurricane, West Virginia.
  • Patrick McGinty, instructor of English, with Gabby Pfeifer, a junior dance major from Stevensville, Maryland.
  • Cory Shoemaker, assistant professor of biology, with Elise Dawson, a sophomore dance major from Hershey.

More information about the NHSDA is available on the SRU Dance Department webpage.

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