MERRILLVILLE | “A fish out of water."
That’s how Hobart Mayor Brian Snedecor described his dancing abilities Thursday during the 2013 Dancin’ with the Local Stars competition at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza.
Yet the 54-year-old mayor took to the dance floor to perform the merengue, a Latin dance from the Dominican Republic, with Caroline Hamilton, an instructor from Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Merrillville.
His official duties, which included a trip to Washington, D.C. last week, limited the time he could spend learning the complicated steps, said Snedecor, one of eight local stars.
The amateurs learned routines taught by professional local dance instructors from five dance studios — the Merrillville Arthur Murray, Gotta Dance and Premiere Dance Studio of Schererville, the Fred Astaire Ballroom of Valparaiso and Duneland Ballroom of Chesterton. The instructors then served as their partners for the two-minute performance.
Other local celebs included Reid Amones, principal of Valparaiso High School; Karlene Cantrell of Earthworks Center in Merrillville; Erik Carpenter, director of operations with Franciscan Omni 41 of Schererville; Jennifer Holmes from Meals on Wheels of Northwest Indiana; Imelda O’Neill, a Title One teacher at Ridge View Elementary in Hobart; Ed Salata branch executive director with the Hammond Area YMCA, and Arthur Stark, owner of two Schererville businesses, Scarborough Faire Catering and The Pie Piper.
The contest came during the first day of the 20th annual Indiana Challenge dance competition organized by Tim and Sue Bourget, of Schererville.
The Bourgets are donating a portion of the proceeds from the four-day competition to the Lake Area United Way for the fourth year, said Bob Scott, vice president marketing and communications with the Griffith-based nonprofit.
“This fits in with our focus on health,” he said
“Valparaiso schools have always supported the United Way,” said Amones about his participation.
The 37-year old VHS principal was a hit as Frankenstein’s monster during a spoof of the Gene Wilder movie classic “Young Frankenstein” with his very petite partner, Michelle Coberg of the Fred Astaire Ballroom. His costume for the competition included painted “scars” on his face.