“I was born to be a dancer,” Schroeder said, brandishing his well known mixture of sarcasm and self-depricating humor. “I’m nervous but I know that when the lights come up I’ll be a dancing machine.”
The event benefits the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia, a local organization that provides 24-hour crisis intervention to residents of Northwest Georgia. It also provides counseling services, medical appointments and forensic rape exams. Its services are free to victims of sexual assault.
“When they called and asked me to be on the local celebrities I said no,” said Schroeder, suddenly serious. “Then when they told me it would benefit the Sexual Assault Center I decided to do it. I don’t mind looking like an idiot if it’s for a great cause. The Sexual Assault Center does important work in our community.”
Modeled after the popular reality TV show “Dancing With the Stars,” the event will feature performances by eight celebrity couples, with styles ranging from hip hop to ballet and much more. Dr. Joe Burch of Rome Radiology Group will dance with Kathy Baird of Baird Ballet. Attorney G. Brian McWhorter will dance with Katie Kiser of Baird Ballet while Pastor Jason Stockton of LIFE Church dances with Stephanie Kipfer of Dance Works.
Keith Turner of Velocity Fitness in Motion will pair with Amy Harkins of Velocity Fitness in Motion, Dr. Joe Vargo of Vargo Orthodontics will dance with local Zumba instructor Yensen Lambert of Darlington School, and Attorney Mark Webb of Brinson, Askew Berry, Seigler, Richardson & Davis LLP dancing with Carrie Edge of Revolution Fitness while Schroeder will be paired with Tamra Clotfelter of Rome Athletic Club.
When asked how practice was coming along, Schroeder said he did not need the practice, and that he had nothing to worry about from his fellow competitors.
“I’ve met them,” he said. “They’re nice people but they’re gonna lose. I was crowned dance champion of Rome twice… at the Moon Roof. I’ve been doing some spying on them practicing. I don’t think I have anything to worry about.”
After performing, each couple will be critiqued by event judges Emily McKnight of Dance Works; Andre Prospere, executive director of the Miss Fulton County Scholarship Pageant and certified judge in the Miss America system through the State of Georgia; former radio personality Robert Smythe of Coosa Valley Credit Union; and former Rockette Kay Ann Wetherington, a Floyd County assistant district attorney.
Couples will compete for the Judges’ Choice Award and the People’s Choice Award, which will be determined by the audience. Audience members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorites, in the form of funds donated, in between each performance.
An important part of the event’s fundraising efforts will be online voting for favorite couples. This can be done by visiting online at romecelebritydancechallenge.com up until the day of the event. Online votes are $1 each with a minimum of five at a time.
“We are so excited about this year’s show,” said Kim Davis, executive director of the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia. “Our dancers and instructors are working extremely hard to make it a big success, and we are so appreciative of their commitment and dedication. We hope you will join us for this great evening of entertainment!”
The Rome Celebrity Dance Challenge takes place Aug. 18 at the Rome City Auditorium starting at 7 p.m.
Event tickets are $15 and $20, depending on seat location, and are now available at http://rcdc.eventbrite.com. For more information, call the Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia at 706-292-9024 or visit romecelebritydancechallenge.com or facebook.com/romecelebritydancechallenge.
All Rome Celebrity Dance Challenge ticket holders are invited to attend a pre-show reception at the DeSoto Theatre from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Adult beverages will be available for purchase with all proceeds benefitting the Sexual Assault Center. Guests will also be able to bid on silent auction items.
“The Sexual Assault Center of Northwest Georgia provides critical services to five different counties in our region,” said Tannika King, president of the Board of Directors for the Sexual Assault Center. “Unfortunately, like many other non-profit groups, our budget has been cut continuously over the past several years. We ask for your support so that we can continue to serve survivors of this terrible crime. By simply attending this event, you are making a contribution to a very worthwhile cause and helping us raise awareness in our community. Plus, I guarantee that you will love the show!”