Since 2006, well-known members of the Fort Wayne, Indiana, community have come together once a year, laced up their dance shoes and slipped into sequins to participate in Dancing with the Fort Wayne Stars for a great cause, Carriage House.
All money raised from this annual event will go to the organization. “The Carriage House was founded in 1997 and assists people in their recovery from mental illness,” Reservations Maven Connie Slyby explains. “It is a non-traditional setting and the ‘members’ work side by side with staff to build their confidence and self esteem to reclaim their lives. We also help them with job training and education.”
Each year, the dancers are selected based on their following and support within the city, and we are thrilled to announce that November 8, Vera Bradley’s Vice President of Sales, Dave Thompson, will be one of those suiting up and shaking it for the cause. He’s partnered with professional dancer Kacy Myers of the Arthur Murray Dance Studios, a second-time participant.
We recently sat in on a practice to see what the duo has in store for the crowd, and despite a few hiccups induced by their first run through facing away from the mirrors, it was a hilarious, entertaining, fun-filled feast for the eyes that will not disappoint.
“He’s done really well with the dancing. It comes naturally to him,” Kacy said. “The first couple of lessons, we just danced to see how he moves, and he was picking up the steps, so we decided to just go for it!” While both admit they’re most nervous about the video that plays just before they take the floor, their song choice (top secret), costumes and personality will certainly cater to expectations and bring people to their feet.
But, having the right moves isn’t all that matters. The team needs votes to move on to the final round and possibly take home the trophy. “Please vote for us! If I can have the courage to do this, hopefully you will feel inclined to support us and give back,” Dave says.
Final preparations are underway and, according to Dave, will include, “a lot of protein, lifting weights, hydration …” And then there’s his relentless request to insert a little “freestyle.” Stay tuned for more on performance night!