By Patricia Minichiello
Dancing with the Rutland Stars celebrated its sixth season on the Paramount stage with seven couples dancing to raise money for RAVNAH’s Pediatric High Tech Programs and Kids on the Move.
Taking home the top prize were Eliza Wilcox of Green Mountain Power and Adam King of Studio Fitness.
The couple danced to James Bay’s, “Let it Go,” bringing down the house with applause when the tender and intense sequence ended.
Bruce Bouchard, executive director of the Paramount Theatre, clapped passionately and shouted in approval after the contemporary routine ended, knowing instantly that Wilcox and King had the winning number.
“There you go,” he said. “That was a professional, modeled dance.”
The masters of ceremony — Eric Malette, the Paramount’s program director, and Karri Barrett of Roots the Restaurant — seemed to enjoy the routine as well, commenting on King’s shirtless attire.
“I speak on behalf of all of the husbands and boyfriends,” Malette said. “Thank you for putting your shirt back on.”
“Oh my goodness Adam. You’ve got me thinking things,” Barrett said, prompting roaring laughter from the crowd.
The judges approved of the dynamic number as well.
“Eliza you are one damn sexy robot,” said Bernadette Robin, marketing director of RAVNAH. “Adam that was just stunning. The shirt off was even better.”
Taking home the fan favorite award of the night was couple number two, Russ Marsan of Carpenter & Costin, and Heather Brouillard of Miss Lorraine’s School of Dance. The duo danced to “Phantom of the Opera.”
The stage was dressed with a piano, candelabras and a smoke machine gave off the Broadway musical’s eerie effect.
Afterwards Barrett commented on the professional look of the sequence.
“I was just wondering. I kind of thought I was in Rutland, Vermont at the Paramount Theater. But I feel like I just walked down to the Theater District in New York City.”
Another couple dancing to a montage of songs from a familiar Broadway musical were Marleen Cenate of Heritage Family Credit Union and Bill Kelley of the Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center.
They dressed up like Sandy and Danny from “Grease” and sparkled on stage as they bopped to the beat.
Cenate said her proudest moment of the entire Dancing with the Rutland Stars process could be felt when tickets went on sale Sept. 1 and sold out in four days.
At the end of the night before judges made their final decisions, Carrie Allen, chairperson for the event, said the group was so delighted to host the sold-out crowd, and raise a whole bunch of money for a good cause.
“What a wonderful opportunity for us to expose you to Pediatric High Tech Programs and Kids on the Move,” Allen said. “With tonight’s show I can safely say that we will have put over $150,000 in the coffers with just Dancing with the Rutland Stars.”
Other couples participating in the evening’s fundraiser included:
Thomas Hartigan of Rutland Regional Medical Center and Sheila McCutcheon of Miss Jackie’s Studio of Dance — Dancing to, “Someone Like You.”
Tom Cohen of Carpet Warehouse and Kylee Lawrence of Studio 15 — Dancing to “US Blues.”
Sara Gilbert of Rutland Economic Development Corp. and David Allan of Green Mountain Swing Dance — Dancing to “Boogie Woogie Country Girl.”
Christopher LaFlamme of LaFlamme’s Inc. and Tracy Tedesco of Fitness Made Fun! Dancing to — “Smooth.”
Patricia Minichiello is a freelance reporter and editor of vtpresspass.com. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.