Shelley and Shawn Desautels perform the Paso Doble for Dancing with the Shuswap Stars held at the SASCU Recreation Centre on Nov. 18, 2022. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Shelley and Shawn Desautels perform the Paso Doble for Dancing with the Shuswap Stars held at the SASCU Recreation Centre on Nov. 18, 2022. (Kristal Burgess Photography)

Shelley and Shawn Desautels perform the Paso Doble for Dancing with the Shuswap Stars held at the SASCU Recreation Centre on Nov. 18, 2022. (Kristal Burgess Photography) Shelley and Shawn Desautels perform the Paso Doble for Dancing with the Shuswap Stars held at the SASCU Recreation Centre on Nov. 18, 2022. (Kristal Burgess Photography)

Dancing with the Shuswap Stars competitors raise more than $68,000 for hospice

Organizers on the lookout for next year’s slate of dancers

Voters gave generously in support of their favourite dancers competing in this year’s Dancing with the Shuswap Stars.

This year marked the return of the gala event, held at the SASCU Recreation Centre on November 18. Dancers in the all-star and rookie divisions set out to impress the judges and the audience, while raising funds for Shuswap Hospice.

Dancing with the Shuswap Stars organizers said this year’s fundraising total, more than $68,000, is the highest since the event began in 2016. Online star sales (purchased in support of dancers) exceeded expectations, with dancers posting spectacular fundraising numbers well before the gala event.

“We are absolutely thrilled to see how the community stepped up this year to donate more than ever before,” said Carl Flatman, chair of the Dancing with the Shuswap Stars organizing committee. “We are incredibly grateful to everyone who supported this event − from the dancers, to the sponsors, to the volunteers, right down to everyone who bought a star vote for their favourite contestant, or came out to enjoy the party.”

Read more: ‘Smashing success’: Competitors heat up the dance floor at Dancing with the Shuswap Stars

Read more: Rust Brothers to join judges’ panel for 2021 Dancing with Shuswap Stars

Flatman said it was wonderful to have a full house back at the community centre enjoying the dancing, and seeing attendees get out on the dance floor themselves in between the competitive and demonstration dances.

The committee gave special recognition to DJ Liz Blair who stepped in with only a couple of hours’ notice after some of the members of the band, the Legendary Lake Monsters, came down with COVID-19 and were unable to play.

Planning for the 2023 Dancing with the Shuswap Stars event begins in the new year.

An essential feature of the event is the dancers. These are community-minded people who have little-to-no dance training and volunteer their time to perform a dance routine in the show, said the committee in a media release. They also need to be fundraising ambassadors, because the ultimate goal is to raise the most money possible for Shuswap Hospice.

“Without the dancers, we have nothing,” said Tracy Hughes, who leads the dancer recruitment efforts. “We deeply appreciate all the dancers who have put themselves out there to entertain the crowd and bring in funds to support Hospice. We are already looking ahead to find new dancers who would be willing to do the same.”

Anyone interested in joining next year’s slate of dancers may email thughes7@telus.net to put your name on the list of potential candidates.


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