'Cheers and High-Fives': Ertter, Cirigliano Win Dancing With Stars
Billie Ertter and Beth Cirigliano danced their way to a first place finish during Sunday night’s Dancing With the Sandhills Stars.
Ertter and Cirigliano wowed the crowd in the Carolina Hotel’s Grand Ballroom with a routine that began with “Last Dance” and segued into “Party Rock Anthem.” The winners were chosen based on the amount of contributions received for their team.
“When I heard Cathy Smith say ‘Beth,’ I started trying to think, was there another Beth in the competition,” said Ertter, owner and operator of Hair Biz @the Cottage in Southern Pines. “Then when she said ‘Cirigliano,’ I just went numb.”
The pair talked up the event with friends, family, co-workers and clients.
“I told Beth that winning was all about the votes, but that we should also have a great time,” Ertter said.
Dancers were kept abreast of online voting, and the Ertter-Cirigliano team pingponged from first down to sixth and back up to second and third in the polls.
“We had no expectations of winning,” said Ertter, who adds that the pair rehearsed three nights each week at a facility owned by Cirigliano’s husband, Tom.
A music teacher at Southern Pines Primary and Pinehurst Elementary, Cirigliano knows firsthand the impact that Communities in Schools and Moore Buddies, the beneficiaries of the money raised, has for the children. More than $80,000 was donated during the course of the fundraiser.
“I see it at Southern Pines Primary and saw it at Robbins, where I taught earlier,” she said.
“Beth gets quite emotional about the kids in her class,” added Ertter. “Most of us don’t really understand just how much these kids are at risk for falling out of the system. I never realized that I could be a mentor, but now I think I’m going to.”
Both dancers are grateful not only for the support of their family and friends, but also for the assistance given by Fred Astaire Studio.
“They taught us the cha-cha,” Ertter said.
Cirigliano added that she enjoyed the camaraderiewith the other dancers.
“We were watching each performance on a small screen in the back,” she said. “As each couple came back, there were cheers and high-fives.”
Second place went to Sassy Riley and Tim Murray, who danced to Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl.” Taking third place honors were Juliana and Matt West, dancing to a medley of Michael Jackson tunes.
The dancers themselves voted an artistic award to Lauren and Matt Chriscoe, who performed to “Why Don’t We Just Dance?”
Another highlight of the performances was that of Linda and Grady Perryman, accompanied by Pat Corso, who sang a pretty good version of “Crazy Love.”
A nod to the 1950s came from Crystal Brown and Nick Brown, who took on “Johnny B. Goode.” The 1970s salute came from Daniella Reilly and Alan Riley, who danced to “Boogie Shoes,” made famous by KC and the Sunshine Band.
Cinny Betts and Brooks Mays took to the floor to the 1980s tune “Footloose” from the movie of the same name.
Rebecca Lindstrom demonstrated that her dancing skills as a dancing champion in California haven’t vanished as she performed a split during Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger,” which she danced with Nathan Summers.
Dorothy Brower and Robert Stephens took to the floor with “I Got Rhythm,” and Nicole Bozich and Patrick Barry performed “The Dark Waltz.”
Other couples in the competition included Parker Dunahay and Mike McKerlie, who danced to “Mr. Pinstripe Suit”; Celeste Washington and John Benton, performing to “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”; Kathee Dishner and Luis Arce, with “Whenever, Wherever”; Ellen King and Billy “Bag O’ Donuts” Brown, to Carlos Santana’s “Smooth”; and Veronica Sanchez and Gerald Galloway, “That’s OK,” by Mark Anthony.
Amy Blondin, executive director of Moore Buddies, and Cynthia Bradley, executive director of Communities in Schools, welcomed members of the audience, followed by Holly Floyd and Cathy Smith, who co-chaired the fundraising committee, who thanked the dancers as well as sponsors.
Rich Rushforth, of STAR 102.5 FM, and Deb Wimberly, who is currently a volunteer at the Sandhills/Moore Coalition for Human Care, served as co-hosts.
A samba by Joe Hasson, an instructor, and sixth-grader Eliza Athans began the evening’s performances. Intermission entertainment was offered by Baxter Clement and Friends with The O’Neal School Glee Club. Capping off the evening was a performance by the 82nd Airborne Division All-American Chorus.
Judges were Mike Haney, former mayor of Southern Pines; Kathie Parson, a former competitor in the event, an active volunteer who began her marketing and fundraiser career as part of the Richard Petty team, helping raise more than $10 million for children’s charities; and Jay St. John, who is stepping down at the end of the year from his position as headmaster of Episcopal Day School.
“Our supporters, dancers and people from both organizations were extremely generous,” Bradley said. “We thank them so much.”
Contact Faye Dasen at email@example.com.
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