Get to Know our Star Dance Partners: Jay Morth

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Photo courtesy Frievalt Photography, llc

Jay D. Morth graduated from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay to receive his 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 has volunteered his time and efforts with DanceSport of Green Bay from 2009 to 2012.  He now works for Simply Ballroom LLC in Green Bay while also pursuing his certification in all of the American Style Dances from the Valley Social Ballroom Dance Teachers College in Appleton.  After certification Jay will also be an instructor in Appleton.

His passion for the arts has driven him thus far into his life and has continued to serve as a constant discipline to not only achieve his goals in the arts, but also in life.

It’s an enjoyment for Jay when he has the opportunity to stray from the beaten path of hard work to having the chance to relax with family and friends. Jay supports the American Red Cross because it’s an organization that has been around for many years performing wondrous tasks to support people in need and acting unselfishly. For these acts, Jay is willing to support such an organization.

Get to Know our Star Dance Partners: Michael Witte

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Photo courtesy of Frievalt Photography, llc

I 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!!!

Get to Know: Alyssa Zellner

Born and raised in the country in the Green Bay area, I have developed a continuous passion for ballroom dancing and hold it very close to my heart. I am a junior returning to UW Green Bay from UW La Crosse, and I am completing my undergraduate degree here in Human Biology with an emphasis in exercise science.  It seems it has been so long since my first lesson as a freshman in my very first lesson. There’s always so much to learn and I will continue to challenge myself to learn new dances. My first experience was at the state competition in Milwaukee, with two other competitions, Wausau’s Fall Ball and Adagio Social Competition in Appleton, following. In my first Dancing with the Stars in 2011, I performed a tango routine. Learning how to ballroom dance and perform in an event was a goal ever since I was little, and now I am so addicted to it. The more I dance, the more I have grown to enjoy certain dances. I have many favorites such as waltz, tango, and cha cha. Ballroom always lifts my spirits; in addition, I enjoy skiing, ultimate frisbee, playing with my dogs, singing (in the shower sometimes), practicing yoga, traveling, and spending time with my friends and wonderful family.  Brad is a great star to dance with for the Red Cross Fundraiser at the 2012 Dancing with the Stars! The volunteers at the American Red Cross do so many wonderful things for the local community every day, and I am grateful to be able to support their mission once again!

Get to Know: Chris Flores

I am a Junior this year at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.  I am majoring in Urban and Regional Planning with a minor in Sociology.  I was born in Cheyanne, Wyoming but have moved around quite a bit since then.  I got into ballroom dancing under “peculiar” circumstances back in high school, and have enjoyed it ever since.

As I said before, I have been dancing since high school, but back then it was only every-now-and-then.  I would say I have been ballroom dancing for about 3 years now.  My favorite dances are Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, and Cha Cha.  I enjoy dancing for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I have met some of the greatest people I know through it, and because through dance I have learned so much about life.  I am always ready and willing to share what I know with anyone who is interested in learning; it’s a great feeling to see the smile dancing puts on someones face; you just know that they are having a blast!

This will be my second year volunteering for the Red Cross through Dancing with the Stars.  I am honored to be part of such a great cause; the Red Cross does so much for any and all who are in need of help, and I am, again, honored to be part of what they do.

Get to Know our Intern Dancers: Kari Hinrichs

Kari is a Green Bay native. She will be graduating in May from the University of Wisconsin Green Bay with a double major in Urban Design and Studio Arts.

I started ballroom my freshman year of college. I danced tap, jazz and ballet since I was seven, teaching it since 14, but college stopped my dancing career. I saw a flyer for UWGB Ballroom club while eating lunch with friends, and we all decided to try it out. It started a great new part of my life, adding new friends and opportunities. I love sharing not only ballroom dance itself, but the love of dance with others. I choreograph ballroom pieces for ‘Danceworks,’ a concert of dance at UWGB; and have been competing for three years, holding a State International Latin Title. Ballroom is a big part of my life. I’m excited to be dancing with Matt Smith. He is a great person and partner.

I’m so glad to be working with the Red Cross. This is my first year dancing with a star, I’m excited to help such an amazing organization that touches the lives of many.