LAS CRUCES 10-16-2017
The heat was on Sunday at the Pan American Center, thanks to eight sizzling performances in the 10th annual Look Who’s Dancing! competition.
The annual fundraiser for New Mexico State University’s Dance Program pairs local “celebrities” with students, whose team performs two dances in front of judges and a live audience.
This year, all teams started with a waltz in a traditional-style competition featuring four teams dancing at once. Then, each team took the dance floor separately — each tasked with a different style of dance — for a show choreographed by the student and geared to entertain the masses.
Katy Petermeier, director of occupational medicine at MountainView Regional Medical Center, and her partner, Manny Carmona, performed a sultry salsa that earned the couple the first-place Mirror Ball trophies.
Taking home the second-place trophies were Ryan Romero, a local stylist and makeup artist, and student Roxanne Espinoza for their captivating cha cha. Abel Ramirez, a route service merchandiser, and Julia Sprowles partnered for a sensational samba that earned them the third-place trophies.
The most entertaining dance of the night, arguably, was a rollicking rumba from Anastacios Rammos, owner of Tiffany’s Pizza Greek restaurant, and Crystal Miranda. The couple earned not only the Entertainer’s Award — judged by past performers — but they also took home the Super Star Award, given to the contestant that raises the most money leading up to the event.
Petermeier and Camona collected the night’s other hardware, the People’s Choice Award, for collecting the most money during the event. Fans could vote with their wallets during the show’s intermission.
Other competitors included Barbara Chamberlin, an app developer, and Keith Salais (tango); Robert Baur, director of Toucan Market and Ruby Marquez (rumba); Heather Salopek, owner of Legacy Pecans, and George Torres (bachata); and Tracy Roy, content director at the Las Cruces Bulletin, and Harold Joy (merengue).
Dance troupes from NMSU and area high schools also performed throughout the afternoon.
Funding from Look Who’s Dancing! supports the university’s dance program, which is housed in the NMSU College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Dance. The funding allows the DanceSport teams to compete, the contemporary dance companies to travel to the American College Dance Association Conference, and the Sol y Arena flamenco dance group to make its bi-annual trip to study in Spain.