Get to Know our Pro Dance Partners: Jim Powell of J. Powell Dance Studio

jpowell1In 1967 at the age of 19, I was accepted into the Arthur Murray training program in my hometown of Milwaukee.  By 1970 I had won the Arthur Murray world championship in New York.  In 1971, I moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, to manage the local franchise.  After three years of management experience I returned to Wisconsin to manage the Arthur Murray franchise in Appleton.  By 1976 I was offered the ownership opportunity in Green Bay and moved my now family of five to take advantage of the opportunity.  In 1977, I won the Harvest Moon Ball in Chicago with my professional partner.  In 1979, the transfer of ownership was finalized and I retired from professional competition to focus on the business.

The decision to drop the Arthur Murray name was made in 1995.  The studio continues to operate as the J. Powell Dance Studio on Shawano Avenue in Green Bay.

Jim Powell will not  be dancing, but he has trained and choreographed the routines for star dancers Rick and Susie Beverstein

Peta Murgatroyd to Judge American Red Cross “Dancing” Fundraiser

Pete and Donald

Photo Credit: Adam Taylor/ABC/Getty Images

Peta Murgatroyd, who teamed with Green Bay Packers legend Donald Driver to win Season 14 of ABC-TV’s Dancing with the Stars, will serve as a celebrity judge this February for Dancing with Our Stars 2014 for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin, presented by the Schneider National Foundation.  The event features 11 community members, known as “star dancers”, competing to raise the most money and take home the coveted Fundraising Mirror Ball Trophy.

“We’re thrilled to add Peta Murgatroyd to an already energetic and exciting event,” says Dancing with Our Stars coordinator Shawn Kiser. “Peta brings a tremendous amount of star power and will greatly enhance the program’s production and fundraising abilities.”

Murgatroyd joins fellow judges Chris Roth of WBAY-TV 2 and Nick Vitrano of 101 WIXX.  They will verbally critique and privately score each dance.  At the end of the night those scores will be combined to determine the winner of the Judges’ Choice Award.

Among the unique experiences connected to Murgatroyd’s appearance is the “Polka with Peta” in which someone attending the event will take center stage that night and perform the official Wisconsin state dance with the celebrity judge.

Dancing with Our Stars is now in its sixth year and it is has been a sold-out event each year.  Not only do those in attendance support local efforts, so can those not attending as the star dancers receive votes in the form of donations to the Red Cross.  One dollar equals one vote.  All funds raised support disaster prevention, preparation and relief, the life-saving training of first aid, CPR/AED classes, collection and testing of blood and blood products, support to military members serving around the globe, the transportation program and international programs.

Last year’s event raised nearly $370,000 for the local Red Cross.  This year’s participants are:

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Brian Bartel – Dad/Inventor

Rick & Susie Beverstein – Senior Vice President, AON (Rick)

Deb DeLeers – Attorney, Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C.

Tammy Elliott – Morning News Anchor, WBAY-TV 2

Tracy Lemsky – Senior Vice President, Private Banking Group Manager, Associated Bank

Chris Lofgren – President/CEO, Schneider National

Jim Rivett – President, Arketype

Mike Spurlock – Partner, Spurlock, Runyan, Miller & Assoc., C.P.A.s

Stacy Struck – Regional Manager, Jack’s Maintenance

Jody Weyers – Director, Volunteer & Communications at American Red Cross

Donations can be made at this website: http://crowdrise.com/DWOSNEW/

Dancing with our Stars 2014 will take place Saturday, February 15th at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay. More event information can be found on the following Red Cross platforms:

Website: http://redcross.org/newisconsin

Dancing with our Stars blog: http://redcrossdwosblog.org

Facebook: http://facebook.com/NEWRedCross

Twitter: @NEWRedCross & #DWOS14 to join the conversation!

The Schneider National Foundation, Ameriprise, Arketype, Associated Bank, Bay Industries, Broadway Automotive, Cellcom, Festival Foods, Green Bay Packaging, Inc., the Green Bay Packers, Jack’s Maintenance, KI, Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, WBAY-TV, WIXX and the Green Bay Press-Gazette are proud sponsors of Dancing with our Stars 2014.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

“Dancing with Our Stars” for the American Red Cross moving to KI Convention Center in Downtown Green Bay

6th annual event will be held Saturday, February 15th, 2014

Downtown Green Bay is the new destination for the annual “Dancing with Our Stars”event benefiting the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin. The KI Convention Center will host the prestigious fundraiser Saturday, February 15, 2014. The event, now in its sixth year, resembles ABC Television’s hit “Dancing with the Stars” and features ten community members (known as “star dancers”) who compete both on the dance floor and to raise money for the local Red Cross.

“We are excited about partnering with the KI Convention Center and continuing to grow our amazing event,” says Shawn Kiser, Special Events Coordinator for the Red Cross.  “Dancing with Our Stars sells out every year and we look forward to the opportunity to entertain 1,000 guests at the KI.”

“We welcome the Red Cross and DWOS event to downtown with open arms.  Their event will be a unique addition to the growing list of activities taking place throughout the year in the Green Bay’s cultural center.” said Jeff Mirkes, Executive Director, Downtown Green Bay, Inc. & Olde Main Street, Inc.

The 2013 Dancing with Our Stars campaign, headlined by last month’s dancing competition, raised nearly $370,000 in net revenue for the Red Cross. Betina Drivertook home the coveted Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy. She danced with her husband, former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, and raised $158,000.

Not only do those in attendance support local efforts, so can those not attending as the “star dancers” receive votes in the form of donations to the Red Cross. One dollar equals one vote. All funds raised support disaster prevention, preparation and relief, the life-saving training of first aid, CPR/AED classes, collection and testing of blood and blood products, support to military members serving around the globe, the transportation program and international programs.

The participants for Dancing with Our Stars 2014 will be announced sometime this fall. To nominate someone, email Shawn Kiser: Shawn.Kiser@redcross.org.

Dancing with our Stars blog: redcrossdwosblog.org

Facebook: facebook.com/NEWRedCross

Twitter: @NEWRedCross (#DWOS to join the conversation!)

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

The Man behind the Mirror Ball Winners

Terry Irwin Talks about Instructing Betina & Donald Driver in Ballroom Dancing

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Terry Irwin is like a proud father these days after Betina and Donald Driver drew rave reviews for their performances at the Fifth Annual “Dancing with Our Stars” for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin. Irwin, owner of TC Dance Club International in Appleton, coached the Drivers and also developed the choreography for their two routines. “Working with the Drivers was truly an amazing experience from a teacher’s point of view,” says Irwin. “Not only are they intelligent and athletic, they have the work ethic and stamina of top professional couples. We would take anywhere from 3 to 8 lessons in a row.  We already knew of Donald’s talents from ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” Betina’s raw, untapped abilities truly surprised me,” he said.

Terry teaching Betina and Donald a move for their rumba at his studio in Appleton.

Terry teaching Betina and Donald a move for their rumba at his studio in Appleton.

With 38 years of professional dance experience, including five U.S. Championships, Irwin knows talent when he sees it. “I had many lessons with Betina alone because of Donald’s schedule and would give her things to work on like Latin walks, body rhythms, or foot and ankle articulation, and low & behold, next lesson there would be a dramatic improvement,” he says. “I’ve trained several U.S. champions and the Drivers are right up there with the best I’ve ever trained.”

Betina Driver took home the Mirror Ball Fundraising Trophy for raising more than $155,000. As a dance couple, the Drivers earned the Judges’ Choice Award. Irwin’s time with the Drivers is something he will cherish forever. “Their playful nature and sense of humor made lesson times fly by. As their coach, I was inspired by their compassion, love of family, sense of community, spirituality, and open & caring nature. It was my pleasure and honor to be afforded the opportunity to work with this wonderful couple.”

To learn more about TC Dance Club International, visit their website: http://www.tcdanceclubwi.com