The Gustavian Weekly

Dancing with the Profs on November 6 | The Gustavian Weekly

By Kate Plager and Annika Ferber Variety Editor and Staff Writer | October 29, 2010 | News

Two of 2009’s contestants. Dancing with the Profs will take place Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall. Marketing and Communication.

Two of 2009’s contestants. Dancing with the Profs will take place Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall. Marketing and Communication.

The Campus Activites Board, GAC TV and Gustavus Swing Club are hosting the fifth Annual Dancing with the Profs, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Alumni Hall.

The selection of students and professors participating occurred last week. Tabling outside the Marketplace was done for nominations. “After tallying up nominations, I pretty much go down the list and approach these students and professors about doing Dancing with the Profs. The students are usually ecstatic to participate, but the professors take a little more effort. So occasionally, I have to use some of my smooth talking, salesperson techniques to persuade them,” Junior Elementary Education Major Ashley Neaton, a special event co-executive of CAB said.

Each pairing of student and teacher must choose a charity to donate their fundraising money to. Tabling outside the cafeteria will occur for students to donate to whichever pair they want. Teams and their charities are listed below.

This benefit is particularly meaningful for Tennis and Swimming and Diving Coach Jon Carlson. The charity helps the family of one of his former swimmers, who has a son with Down Syndrome and another with Autism.

Physical and Health Education Major Bobby Elwell and Biology Professor Pam Kittelson have chosen the St. Peter Area Food Shelf for their charity. The choice was made because of their respective concentrations, and Gustavus’s ‘Year of Food’, they understand that “more and more children in the U.S. are in need of food assistance,” Kittelson said. They liked how they have the opportunity to make a significant local change for students.

The professors and students may not have known each other before being paired together, but through the process they have learned a lot about each other. Dance Major Renee Guittar didn’t know Jon Carlson before being paired with him, but now, “he means business. You know, classic coach. It’s awesome,” she said.

“Why wouldn’t Gustavus students want to come watch? It’s going to be a fun-filled evening with lots of energy, zest and plenty of laughs. I can guarantee that. It’s really going to be an enjoyable event, and why not support a local charity by attending a dance concert of your very own, home-grown Gustavus peers and professors, some of finest dancers around?” Neaton said.

This campus activity was inspired by the popular television show Dancing with the Stars. The format of the actual event at Gustavus has been stripped down to a simpler form. In the television show, contestants perform several dance styles. In the Gustavus version, students and professors will perform a number taught by members of the Gustavus Swing Club.

“It’s something I’ve been working really hard on, so I’m excited to show people in November what I’ve done. I’m also excited to embarrass myself onstage,” Jon Carlson said.

Junior Computer Science Major Joe Carlson is also excited about the challenge of swing dancing. “The Internet has really been helping me practice. I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube videos of swing dancing to get the feel and rhythm of it. Also, going to Swing Club and dancing by myself helps a lot,” he said.

The winning couple is chosen based on three criteria:  a panel of judges (who watch for compatibility, entertainment and dance skills), the amount of money raised for their charity the week before the competition and, new this year, an audience vote helps decide.

“I’m extremely excited for the event! I think it’s going to be a great night and will be fun to see what all the couples come up with. Formal dance experience? I have none. I was a member of show choir for four years in high school,   which is similar to what we’re doing for our dance and, believe it or not, most weekends back home are spent at country bars dancing, which is always a great time,” Elwell said.

The fifth annual Dancing with the Profs is on Nov. 6, 2010 and tickets are $2 and can be purchased at Information Desk or at the door. All proceeds go to the winning couple’s charity of choice.

Teams and Chosen Charity

  • Ana Adams and Junior Joe Carlson—La Union Latina
  • Pam Kittelson and Junior Bobby Elwell—St. Peter Area Food Shelf/Public Schools
  • John Cha and Sophomore Kate Eggers—VINE Organization
  • John Lammert and Senior Bergit Nerheim—Minnesota Life College
  • Jon Carlson and Junior Renee Guittar—Owen and Ethan Benefit Fund