Dancing 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.
My name is Chris Lofgren, Chief Executive Officer for Schneider National. I have been blessed with 19 years of employment at Schneider National. More importantly, I am the father of two wonderful children, Grace and Christian.
My first dance memory was being “selected,” as a sixth grader to represent Hamblen Elementary School, in the Spokane, WA district wide “square dancing jamboree.” What comes back is the terror of actually having to hold hands with a girl! This is followed by a memory from an eighth grade “sock hop” where dancing appeared to imply boys standing on one side of the gymnasium looking at girls standing on the other side.
As with all things, changes occur and so do the memories. I can vividly recall high school dances to the music of bands like Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, Earth Wind and Fire, Tower of Power, Average White Band, and my favorite, Led Zeppelin, to name a few. These were the years where my dates moved their attractive hips smoothly and easily to the beat of the music, while I tried desperately to figure out how to shuffle my feet! Oh, and the much coveted, but still dreaded, slow dance…what am I supposed to do with my hands, forget about my feet!
College was my breakout for dancing. Attending Montana State University meant learning to Jitter Bug, which created great opportunities to ask beautiful co-eds to dance throughout Friday and Saturday nights at Little Johns, and St. George and the Dragon, bars in Bozeman, MT. And being a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity, who could forget the toga party dance steps made famous to the song “Shout” in the epic cultural movie, “Animal House!”
All of this is light years away from the grace and sophistication of ballroom dancing! May God help my professional dance partner.
My favorite dancer would have to be Sammy Davis, Jr. I can still recall his great tap dancing routines as part of the “Rat Pack” with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. As for my dream dance partner; that would have to be Marine Jahan the “dancer double” for Jennifer Beals in the movie Flash Dance.
Given Schneider National’s long term involvement in transporting relief items to natural disasters, we have a deep appreciation for the incredible role the Red Cross plays in our country. Mother Nature knows no prejudice to geography, gender, or race when it comes to imparting hardship. The Red Cross is always at the heart of efforts to alleviate the immediate displacement, and start the healing, for victims of these catastrophic events. Schneider National is proud to be a sponsor and partner in helping the Red Cross continue their vital role.