KidSpirit director Karen Swanger likes to dance, but is feeling just as anxious as she is excited about Oregon State University’s “Dancing with the Stars,” scheduled for Thursday evening at the LaSells Stewart Center.
“I’m hoping my muscle memory carries me,” she said Tuesday evening at a rehearsal that brought together other participants and members of the OSU Ballroom Dance Company.
Swanger was one of seven “stars” from the OSU community invited by Mark Baker, director of the show and the dance company’s assistant director, to take part in the first OSU version of the popular television dance competition, “Dancing with the Stars.”
As Baker’s brainchild, the event is meant to be something fun for the community. Funds will go to the company.
Baker paired participants with both current and former members of the company, allowing them 90 seconds to perform their numbers. Songs range from the classic “Singing in the Rain” to flamenco-style tunes. The audience will vote to select the winner.
Swanger’s song? “Shake Your Groove Thing.” While other participants used the company’s costumes or their own clothing for their performances, Swanger bought herself a black and sparkling one-piece outfit with bellbottoms straight out of the 1970s.
She donned the outfit at Tuesday’s rehearsal, discussing fashion with partner Trevor Bramwell, a sophomore in computer science. She added that the two have been practicing regularly for more than three weeks.
“I’ve seen Trevor more than my husband in the past few weeks,” Swanger said.
In addition to Swanger, other participants include vice provost for student affairs Larry Roper, Memorial Union president Craig Bidiman, Associated Students of OSU Executive Director of Diversity Programs Tonga Hopoi, University Housing and Dining Services Director of Residential Education Linda Kasper, football defensive end Taylor Henry, animal science department chair Jim Males and student Laura Siewert.