Jul 30, 2014
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Choreography for a Cause: 'Dancing with the Teachers'

Paynter Elementary educators tripped the light fantastic at Baldwin High School on Saturday night.

"Dancing with the Teachers," a fundraiser put on by educators from for the benefit of the  Make-A-Wish Foundation, was held at the  auditorium on Saturday night.

Contestants Jamey and Greg Pryber, Raymond Stark and Heather Marchese, Brooke Stewart and Frank Blackmore, Patricia Fusco and Mark Yost, Jared Hoffman and Mindy Golvash, Darlene DeFilippo and Kent Berkey, and Christine Leslie and Nate Hart competed for the chance to win a mirror ball trophy resembling the one from ABC's hit reality show "Dancing with the Stars."

Saturday's event closely emulated the ABC show, but in the Baldwin version, the judges—Amanda Filsinger, volunteer coordinator for the Make-A-Wish Foundation; Tammi Hanak, speech language pathologist and group fitness instructor at Fullbody Fitness Club; Shari Opfermann, owner of ; John B. Schmotzer, president of the Baldwin-Whitehall School Board; and Rozana Sweeney, owner of Art & Style Dance Studio—were unfailingly kind to all of the competitors.

Actress Erika Shannon ("All My Children," "30 Rock"), a alumna, emceed the event.

Other local talents were showcased, as well, including children from Mary Ellen Shade's School of Dance, who opened the event with "The Hamster Dance," a rodeo song played at the wrong speed—like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Teens from the Dance Workshop by Shari's Art & Style competition team also performed, and student sang the "Beauty and the Beast" theme song and Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."

"We had a lot of events leading up to this one," W.R. Paynter Elementary art teacher Janet Cooley said. "We sold raffle tickets. We had a recycling can drive. But it all led up to this night."

The winners of the competition were Leslie and Hart for a "Let's Get Loud" number. They proudly held up their mirror ball trophy and thanked a generous audience for supporting the event.

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