The Day is Here – 6th Annual American Red Cross Dancing with Our Stars!

posterFor the sixth consecutive year, the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin has grown, sold-out and added new highlights to their annual disaster fundraiser. On Saturday, February 15th, not only are 11 local celebrities vying for the fundraising Mirror Ball trophy, they are competing in a dance contest.  Surprises for this year include a professional dancer & celebrity judge Peta Murgatroyd. She may best be known as the professional dancer & coach to Donald Driver. During the evening, she will do more than judge!  Plus, a live-streaming element provides those at home the ability to watch and participate in the event!

Eleven local celebrities are participating in Dancing With Our Stars 2014 for the American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin, presented by the Schneider National Foundation. The 11 star dancers have been competing off the dance floor to raise the most funds for the coveted Fundraising Mirror Ball Trophy. Their last chance to raise the stakes are by earning the audiences “vote”. For every dollar donated at the event or online at they earn another ‘vote’ so the stakes are high to dazzle the crowd in their two dances. This year’s cast includes:

Brian Bartel – Dad/Inventor

Rick  & Susie Beverstein – Senior Vice President, AON

Deb DeLeers – Attorney, Associated Bank

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

For the first time, with the support of Camera Corner Connecting Point, we will have the event streaming live at  Not only will viewers at home see the dancing, they will hear the all-star judges including Peta Murgatroyd.  She has not only accepted our invitation to attend, she will get into the dancing line-up Wisconsin style! One lucky member of the audience will dance the “official” state dance, the POLKA with Peta!!  This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

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.

For the first time, the event will be held at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay as this was a larger venue than past years. The evening will begin at 4:30pm with a reception.  The dancing competition starts at 7:00pm

This event is hosted through the amazing support of Green Bay’s DanceSport, J. Powell Dance Studio, Simply Ballroom and TC Dance Club of Appleton are all teaching our local celebrities the Tango, Fox Trot, Rumba, Waltz and many more crowd pleasers.

Special thank you to our event sponsors. 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, The Kaldas Center,  KI, Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, and Women’s Specialty Care. Media Sponsors include: WBAY-TV, WIXX and the Green Bay Press-Gazette.

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties throughout the greater Fox Valley and the Michigan border communities. To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter headquarters at 920-231-3590 or Find us on, on twitter @newredcross.

Get to Know our Pro Dance Partners: Michael Witte of Simply Ballroom

8952MichaelI have been active all my life. I was a four year member of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix Swim and Dive team and found my passion for both teaching and dancing while attending UWGB. When I realized swimming was coming to an end, I wanted a way to keep active, fit and meet new people. I have always been fascinated with Knights (my high school mascot) and the idea that if you were strong enough to wield a sword you should be graceful enough to dance appealed to me.

I went to college to be an educator and both activities have melded together to be an incredibly rewarding career. My greatest joy in teaching is helping my students more than meet their goals. I love it when my students surprise themselves and SHATTER their goals!

I started competitive ballroom dance in 2008, after my swim career ended, and have never looked back. I love to dance socially but there is nothing like the feel of a competition.  Not only does it fill the adrenalin void that swimming left me but it offers me challenges and goals. Even if it is just a show I love the chance to take center stage and am blessed to dance with some of the most incredible women in the world! I have won numerous Wisconsin State Amateur Championships, but it is not about the titles. I compete and encourage my students to compete because competition encourages growth.

Ballroom dance offers the opportunity to share light and goodness with the world, I hope you will let me share that light and goodness with you through the art and sport of ballroom dancing!!!

Michael will be dancing with Tracy Lemsky of Associated Bank and Jody Weyers of the American Red Cross.

Get to Know our Pro Dance Partners: Jamie Keyzer of Simply Ballroom

8939JamieDancing and performing have always been an imperative part of my life.   After being involved in show choir and musicals throughout high school, I realized being on stage was my passion.  When I started my schooling as an elementary teacher at NWTC, I knew I needed to find an outlet to perform.  It was here that ballroom dancing became that integral outlet.

I joined the NWTC Ballroom Dance Club and became engrossed with the art of ballroom.  Shortly after I became involved in the dance club, I began taking private lessons and participating in competitions.   Dance presented itself in an array of opportunities.

It has been said many times before, but teaching truly is rewarding.   Through my teaching experiences, I have found it is most gratifying to witness students thriving in the classroom and building a foundation for their future.  Not only have I been fortunate to teach in the classroom, but I have been able to extend my instruction to include dance; both with children and adults.

Ballroom dancing embraces any age.  It has been my experience once people are introduced to ballroom, they absorb the essence of dance and they are often eager to progress.  It is my hope to create an atmosphere that invites any willing participant into the world of dance.

Jamie’s Star dance partner is Chris Lofgren, of Schneider National.

Get to Know our Pro Dance Partners: Tricia Schewe of TC Dance

Headshot triciaTricia Schewe started dancing at the age of three at the Platteville School of Dance where she studied ballet, pointe, jazz, and tap. She became an assistant teacher at thirteen and an instructor upon graduation. While in high school, Tricia choreographed several musicals, led the dance and pom squads as captain, and was awarded the talent award for her pointe performance at the Junior Miss Scholarship Program. .

Tricia has taught a variety of dance genres at the Appleton and Kaukauna Recreation Dance Programs, and recently opened her own dance company ‘Inspirations Dance and Movement’.    Her teaching philosophy is built upon a strong technique background and developing a true love for the art of dance. To further her skills and knowledge, she participates in various class and workshops including Dance Masters of Wisconsin.

Tricia’s star dance partner is Mike Spurlock.

Get to Know our Pro Dance Partners: Jay Morth of Simply Ballroom

8926JayJay D. Morth graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a Bachelor of the Arts degree.  He started ballroom dancing at a young age, but really started to enjoy the art of ballroom dancing his sophomore year in college at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley. He has been dancing ever since and volunteered teaching at DanceSport of Green Bay from 2009 to 2012.

He now works for Simply Ballroom in Green Bay and Valley Social Dance Studio.  He has received his Bronze level of certification in all of the American Style Dances from Valley Social’s Ballroom Dance Teachers College in Menasha.  Outside of teaching, Jay spends time competing and training professionally with Heather Wudstrack from Get Out and Dance located in Weston, Wisconsin.

Jay supports the American Red Cross because it’s an organization that has been around for many years performing tasks large and small to support people in need.  For these acts, Jay is willing to support such an organization.

Jay’s Star Dance Partner is Deb DeLeers of Associated Bank.

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