We can dance, we can dance, everybody’s takin’ the chance! –
“Men Without Hats”, 1983
My very first dance memory brings me back to Eddie Whipp’s Dining Hall, town of Poland, to the evening of one of many raucous Polish weddings. My mother, aunts and cousins coaxed me onto the dance floor, and it was there at the age of 8, that I was introduced to the Waltz and Polka. It was a tilt-a-whirl of fun being tossed and twirled about by these intrepid women.
Truth be told, my dance lessons did not go much further than that, because in an effort to be cool, I soon learned to make myself scarce after the chicken dinner and hang with the other guys who stood around and looked at the floor. After a long dance hiatus, I did take a Modern/Jazz class while studying at UW-Madison, where I worked night and day to pull out a B-.
Since a dance career did not seem like a strong possibility, I decided to give veterinary medicine a turn. In 1991, I earned my DVM. That time period was a highlight, because a year earlier I also married the love of my life, Collette LaRue. 22 years later we have four children: Shawnda (19), Ross (17), Chloe (17) and Sam (13), who allow me to live vicariously through their own musical, dance and athletic pursuits.
Upon graduation of veterinary school, I honed my veterinary craft in several small farming towns before planting permanent roots back in Green Bay in 1996. In 2004, I launched The Animal House, a start-up business endeavor, which has been both incredibly challenging and satisfying. I can honestly say that I genuinely love working with people and their pets. The work engages, energizes and is different every day. There is absolutely no other job that I would rather do in this world, even dance the Cha-Cha!
After the workday is done, I find specks of time for other interests. As an avid collector of vinyl, I am an aspiring audiophile. Relaxing at home with my family and spinning some vintage blues is my ideal way to unwind from the everyday hustle.
Thank you to The American Red Cross for this unforgettable opportunity. Following in my older brother Bob’s footsteps as a 2012 DWTS contestant, and Winner of the Special Contribution Award, I have big shoes to fill and a brotherly competitive desire to somehow “do one better”. Admittedly, it is going to be tough! All efforts of course, are in great fun and for wonderful cause. I am truly honored and humbled to be a part of this amazing event.
Good luck to all the contestants and let the dancing begin!
Stacy is President and co-owner of Burnham Richards, a brand elevation and advertising firm. She is a Green Bay native, and before returning to Green Bay 10 years ago, she lived in Minneapolis, where she began her advertising career and met her husband, David. Stacy and David now live in DePere with their two children, Ben (age 11) and Sophia (age 7), and their 1-year old golden retriever, Chelsea.
Besides raising money for the Red Cross and learning the finer points of the Viennese Waltz, Stacy is also active in the PTO’s at both her children’s schools, on the board for the UWGB Institute for Learning Partnership, a member of PEO (Chapter AI) and a Mary Kay Senior Consultant.
Getting to know Stacy…
Describe your first dancing recollection. About how old were you and what was the occasion? As kids, my sister and I spent many hours choreographing some pretty spectacular shows in our basement. We created a “dinner theatre” and our parents watched with big smiles while enjoying their TV Dinner of Salisbury Steak we made for them. All I can say is that I’m very thankful that our household did not own a video camera.
My “formal” dance training would involve the Jazz dance class I took when I was 12. I still remember parts of the routine to “Hot Lunch Jam” –And if you’re not familiar with that song, you can find it on the “Fame” soundtrack. I also perfected my jazz hands and the box step during my time in high school swing choir. Although I thought all of this “extensive” training would come in handy when I hit the dance floor, I’m not really sure it’s helping.
Who is your dream dance partner? My dream dance partner is my husband. He’s always willing to get out on the dance floor. Our “dancing” doesn’t really involve any dance steps per se, but it’s always fun and full of laughter which, ultimately, is why I love spending time with him. I have to be honest, however, if Maksim from DWTS showed up at my door an offered to take me dancing, I’d definitely take him up on it.
Why support the Red Cross with your participation? The Red Cross is a fantastic organization that helps so many people from young to old and provides assistance in a multitude of ways. There really isn’t another organization like it. The more you learn about the unbelievable impact the Red Cross has on our community the more you want to say “how can I help?” I’m proud to support this organization and raising money locally to help those in need is really important to me. Over the years I’ve given many pints of blood to the Red Cross, so I guess it’s now time for some sweat and tears.
What’s your favorite song? My iPod is full of a really diverse collection of music that involves pretty much everything except country and heavy metal. I don’t have one favorite, I have many. They are all reflective of different times and places making up of the on-going soundtrack of my life.