Save the Date!
Saturday, March 18, 2017


In its 7th year, Dancing for Future Stars proved to be another fabulous night of entertainment, food, and FUNdraising!  It was the most successful year yet...raising over $330,000!  This brings the total funds raised in this event's short history to over $1.5 million!!! All proceeds benefit Boys & Girls Club youth in Gaston County through vital afterschool and summer programming.  A special thanks to our 2016 Celebrity Dancers: Shelly Bullard, Will Current, Britt Goodrich, Kim Johnson, Ellen Maxwell & partner Dennis Ritchie, Jason Ramey, Blake Skarpalezos, and Julia Watson!

The Club Stick Squad welcomed folks as they entered the Country Club and the event kicked off with a special performance from the Boys & Girls Club dancers (pictured left), followed by professional dancers from Metropolitan Ballroom. Chad Melvin, Chief Executive Officer, welcomed the attendees and thanked Board Members, Sponsors, Professional and Celebrity Dancers, Judges, and ticket holders. He also took a few moments to recognize longtime Board Member and friend of the Club, J. A. "Dal” Dalpiaz who passed away last fall. "Dal always rewarded our Club kids who made the honor roll with $2 bills and words of encouragement. His impact on the club is impossible to measure, and his influence will never be forgotten.” Chad also shared how the Dancing event has impacted the Club and its ability to better serve youth at risk:

"It’s been an inspiration to watch our Clubs and youth grow leaps and bounds since Dancing for Future Stars began 7 years ago. The proceeds this event has raised has helped each member more likely toprogress to the next grade level, get a job and go to college, make positive and healthylife choices, and contribute to their community. It has enabled us to have impactful programs and double our membership enrollment at our 3 club sites and increase our average daily attendance 126%.”

The 2016 Youth of the Year, Dalton Rowland, gave a moving, passionate speech about how the Club has changed his life (pictured right with Club CEO Chad Melvin):

"The moment I walked in the [Bessemer City Club] I felt home, I felt important, I felt wanted, I felt loved. It made me fuzzy and warm inside…Mrs. Mary put me in a position to become a leader. I was involved in numerous programs, including; Top Teens, Wise Guys, Smart Moves, Street Smart, Passport to Manhood, Power Hour, Triple Play, and my personal favorite, Dancing For Future Stars, which not only allowed me to use my talents, but discover new ones as well… I owe my life to the Boys & Girls Club. I'm so much happier, I have a great job and I will be graduating this year and attending Gaston College thanks to the Club for providing me with much needed scholarships.”

Each of the 8 Celebrity Dancers performed two dances:one traditional and one freestyle. Will Current and Tatiana Kazakova danced "Cheek to Cheek” with the Foxtrot and a Hollywood Glam Medley. Kim Reel Johnson and Ranko Bogosavac were exuded confidence with their salsa and freestyle. Blake Skarpalezos and Anik Laforst Mancuso were "Feeling Good” with their Foxtrot and Tango. Julia Watson & Clement Joly were intoxicating with their Cha Cha and Paso Doble. Britt Goodrich and Tatiana Kazakova shook their hips during their Jive and Hip Hop Dance Mash. Ellen Maxwell and Dennis Ritchie let their feet do all the talking during their Salsa and Freestyle. Dr. Shelly Bullard and Stefano Placidi Zaccarelli got loud with a Cha Cha and Gipsy Kings Medley. And last but not least, Jason Ramey and Tatiana Kazakova paid tribute to Michael Jackson during their freestyle, in addition to a flawless Samba.

And the Mirrorball Goes To...

Will Current, who alone raised over $72,000, took home the top prize as Grand Champion with his professional partner, Tatiana Kazakova! (photo bottom left)

Jason Ramey and Dr. Shelly Bullard tied for highest dance score, but Jason and partner Tatiana Kazakova were ultimately awarded the Dance Champion mirrorball trophy as Jason was the third highest fundraiser! (photo bottom center)

Ellen Maxwell and partners Dennis Ritchie and Stefano Placidi Zaccarelli received the Silver Star for runner-up for overall dance score and amount of money raised at $52,000! (photo bottom right)


 All photographs taken by Mark Luftig, On Your Mark Photography.