Chris Roth; Big (fancy) Shoes to Fill


You must imagine sitting next to Cami Rapson and George Graphos 3 times a day, every weekday during their rigorous training for the inaugral Dancing With Our Stars.  The stories of joy and pain, heartache and heel aches, tango and mambo, or is it rumba? or samba? (I can’t keep any of those straight).

Their journey struck a chord, and the pressure to carry the torch for WBAY in year two soon became too much. (I am very grateful that Sarah Thomsen is part of the program so that there is hope for the station) I found myself asking questions about routines, and costumes (George still won’t let me borrow his fancy jacket with the epaulets on the shoulders), and soon I caved.  I never was very good at standing on my own two feet, much less dancing with them. But this was the perfect opportunity to overcome those two left feet, if not dress them up in interesting shoes.  

I had friends ask me last year why I wasn’t in the competition; I believe on February 21st, the answer will be plain to see. But I received some advice a long time ago in my career from a colleague….”swing hard in case you hit it.!” I intend to swing hard, or jive hard, or foxtrot hard, or samba-mambo-rumba hard.  That same person also said, “no donkey has ever won the Kentucky Derby.” Well, no sportscaster has ever won Dancing With Our Stars (there wasn’t one in the competition last year); May The Streak live on!

Dance Questions:

1.       Describe your first dancing recollection. About how old were you and what was the occasion?  Probably the proverbial junior high “hug and sway” dance 

2.   Who is your dream dance partner?  My wife, but she realizes the inherent danger. I enjoy dancing with my daughters who are too young to realize the peril their feet are in  

 3.  Who is your favorite dancer of all time on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and why?  Love them all 

4.  Why support the Red Cross with your participation?  This is a fantastic organization, and to be able to help out in such a creative (if not embarrassing) way will be great fun.

5.   What’s your favorite song? Too many to pick, that’s why we had Janet (Owner,  DanceSport) pick the songs 

Hobbies or passions:  Golf and scuba diving.

Sara Thomsen, WBAY Anchor/Report, Renews Her Dreams of Dancing


Every child dreams big dreams. Sarah Thomsen was no different.  As a young girl on the farm in Iowa, Sarah spent her time in the great outdoors.  She spent it doing chores, fixing fence and chasing cattle that found the wrong side of the fence.  As the red cows would chase her through the rolling hills of her father’s bean fields, Sarah began to dream.

 “If I could just run a little faster, the cows couldn’t catch me,” she thought. But they were speedy.  So she needed a Plan B. She began to dance.  Like a ballerina.  Twirling. Bouncing. Tumbling. They didn’t know what hit them! They stopped and ran the other way!

So Sarah thought she was on to something. She could dance!  She had natural talent! She danced everywhere – at home, in the hallways at school, at church. It landed her a college scholarship.  Before leaving for college, Sarah was playing a game in the backyard with her cousins, when her dancing career met its fate. She tripped on a broom and broke her ankle.

 She was so embarrassed she refused to try dancing again even after her ankle healed.

Instead, she pursued a career where she can use her voice instead of her feet. She figures she’s safer if she’s sitting! She began working in television and hadn’t thought of dancing since. Until now!

Check out Sara at her first practice session:

2010 “Dancing with Our Stars” Lineup announced at Kick-off Event

American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter Announces Dancers for the 2nd Annual Dancing with Our Stars Fundraising Event

On Wednesday, October 14 the ten celebrity all-star color TRIBAL LOGOdancers were announced for the 2nd Annual “Dancing with Our Stars” fundraising event sponsored Oneida Nation and Nicolet National Bank. This event will be held on Sunday, February 21, 2010 at the Radisson Hotel, Green Bay, program beginning at 5:30pm.

 The 2010 “Dancing with Our Stars” celebrity line-up is:

  • Mindy Bennett, Balance for Body and Soul, Owner


  • David Burns, WIXX Midday personality, Music Director and Assistant Program Director


  • Michael Frohna, The Bellin Foundation, President


  • Crystal Holtz, Oneida Nation Tourism Department, Marketing Manager


  • Julie May, Chestnut Gallery & Gifts, Proprietress


  • Chris Roth, WBAY, Sports Director


  • Diane Roundy, Schenck Business Solutions, Director of Business Development


  • Sarah Thomsen, Action 2 News at Four, Anchor/News Reporter


  • Dana VanDen Huevel, Marketing Savant, Director


  • Eric Witczak, Nicolet National Bank, Retail Banking Manager and American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter Board of Directors, Vice Chair

 These ten Northeast Wisconsin celebrities will be participating in this fundraising event. Celebrities will be trained in two ballroom dances by DanceSport of Green Bay under the direction of Janet Gollnick, former Midwest champion. Their dance partners will be accomplished and skilled college-aged dancers from DanceSport.

 Winner of the dancing trophy will be the dancer who scores best on the dance floor and who is supported by public and event votes. Votes will be in the form of dollars donated in support of the star dancer, both at the Dancing with Our Stars event and dollars pledged in the name of the Dancer prior to February 21.  

 We are honored to have Ivan Seleznev of New York City, an eight time Russian champion, Rebecca Messenger, nationally acclaimed Ballroom Judge and Dan Messenger,  former National Champion and Ballroom Judge both of Milwaukee.

 All proceeds for the event go to support local programs and services for the American Red Cross.


Tickets for the event will be on sale at the American Red Cross Lakeland Chapter, starting January 4, 2010.

Sarah Thomsen, Chris Roth Named to “Dancing With Our Stars” Lineup

By Cami Rapson

Earlier this year, George Graphos and I had the chance to test our dancing skills, and now it’s time to pass on the dancing shoes.

We’re proud to announce that Action 2 News anchor Sarah Thomsen and Action 2 Sports director Chris Roth will take part in the American Red Cross’s second annual Dancing With Our Stars event.

The celebrity dancers met their dancing partners Wednesday night.

Tune in to WIXX’s morning show Thursday to hear the full line-up.

The pairs will put months of lessons to the test in February, and of course we’ll be cheering them on.

Click here for link to WBAY: