Stars dazzle in dance contest

Talented Swinging with the Stars contestants danced the night away at The Barn Palais for a good cause on Saturday night.

The stars dazzled in front of more than 500 people and raised just over $96,000 for the Stand Like Stone Foundation.

Swinging with the Stars committee chair and Stand Like Stone Foundation board director Donna Jaeschke said it was a fantastic night and the stars had lots of fun performing to the crowd.

“Our dancers and our stars put on a beautiful performance,” Ms Jaeschke said.

“It was actually amazing, they performed really well and I think the whole crowd was giving a standing ovation, they absolutely loved it.

“I think the feeling in the room was electric, everyone was up and about and having a fantastic time.”

The stars this year were Alisha Byrne, Karen Millington, Felicia Jones, Kyra Sykes, Cole Hedwards, Matthew Grubb, Stuart Harvey and Erin Launer.

“I think they were really nervous but it was a nervous excitement,” Ms Jaeschke said.

“Just getting out there and after performing their first dance which was the swing, which was absolutely amazing, I think they were all buzzing and carried through.

“The biggest thing for the stars is they’re now so upset that it’s over, it goes in the blink of an eye.

“It’s just so far out of their comfort zone but such a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

Felicia Jones won the people’s choice award for raising the most money and Matthew Grubb was crowned best dancer with his dance partner Jacinta Cooper from Hype Dance.

“Matthew Grubb did a fantastic job, he was definitely out of his comfort zone but he really embraced it,” Ms Jaeschke said.

“I think his personality on the dance floor really shone through, he totally got into character for each of his dances and absolutely gave it his all.

“Both of them, they gave it everything and I think everyone would have been particularly impressed with their spectacular lifts throughout the dance.”

Dances included the swing, quickstep, hip-hop and tango and were choreographed by Hype Dance director Kim Cella with assistance from Keana Soper and Jazmyn Bowd.

“The choreography was absolutely phenomenal, Kim always does a fantastic job,” Ms Jaeschke said.

Swinging with the Stars is the key annual fundraiser for the Stand Like Stone Foundation and funds raised go towards their administration, keeping the foundation running and the star’s chosen sub funds.

Stand Like Stone Foundation chief executive Roger Babolka said money raised on the night and through the stars’ fundraising activities over the last few months assisted the foundation in providing a critical range of community support across the region.

“We are so proud of our community and simply cannot thank everyone enough,” Mr Babolka said.

Ms Jaeschke said the foundation was appreciative of all their vendors, including Christy Radford of With Love Photography for taking photos and Marcus Jones from Videolive for the videography.

“From a Stand Like Stone Foundation perspective, we are so grateful for particularly what the stars have done but the dancers and the effort they have put in,” she said.

“All of the vendors that help us out on the night, everyone’s giving of their time so generously and we truly appreciate it and it helps our community so much, so we just want to thank all those people for the huge effort they put in.”

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