Make no doubt about it … the 2018 edition of the Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off was one for the record books.
Christine Moore, Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off 2018 co-chair, said the event was a “truly inspiring night for the entire community,” which reached new heights this year.
Although the amount of money raised hasn’t been made official yet all eight dancers reached their goal of $20,000 each. More than 800 people gathered for the dance competition on Saturday night.
The money will go towards Canada Games Celebration Plaza, an accessible gathering place in downtown Red Deer.
Moore said the new outdoor space will include a playground and revitalize downtown Red Deer.
“Whenever we have a big (outdoor) event in Red Deer, roads have to be closed down, this place (will prevent that) so city can carry on and people can gather there,” said Moore.
Canadian Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer Duane Daines and dance partner Natalie Brooks took home the Mirror Ball Trophy, the top prize of the evening. Their electric performance earned the duo a perfect score and a standing ovation.
“We all won tonight and everyone here’s having a good time – that’s what it’s all about, ” said Daines.
Brooks injured her leg prior to the performance, Daines said.
“We just kind of freestyled out there because she was on one leg,” said Daines. “We cut some stuff, added some stuff and it just kind of showed we were both trying and giving our all.”
Daines said he doesn’t expect to do much more dancing in the future.
“I’m done, I’m retired. This is it,” he said.
Entrepreneur Cindy Mandrusiak, who danced with Dale Tosczak, raised the most money among all the dancers – more than $50,000.
Mandrusiak said she was humbled by the whole experience.
“It was really tough at the beginning – getting into dancing when I wasn’t used to it. But with a lot of hard work and a great partner … I had a wonderful time,” said Mandrusiak.
The money raised will go towards the Canada Games Celebration Plaza in downtown Red Deer. Mandrusiak said it’s a great thing to raise money for.
Stantec’s vice-president Alberta North and Territories, Todd Simenson and dance partner Jinelle Themig, won the technical dance award.
Also competing was former two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Carla MacLeod with partner David Joseph, RBC vice-president John Young with Jody Liptak, Olympian bronze medallist Mellisa Hollingsworth with Michael Myroniu, Canada Winter Games 2019 honorary co-chair Cari MacLean with Jone Lam and news director Red Deer News Now Troy Gillard with Olya Joseph.
Moore said the crowd had a ton of fun Saturday night and she is excited for the future.
“It started off seven years ago as a fundraiser and it’s become a community building event,” she said. “The community loves it and continues to support it.”
More than 80 volunteers helped with the event, said Moore, who thanked everyone involved to make the event possible.