Local Celebrities Shine at Second Dancing With Our Community Stars (Video)
Results from Saturday night's fundraiser for Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Foundation.
After more than two hours of performances, Jensyn Modero and Jonathan Barrett were named the Top Female and Top Male dancers in the second season of the Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Foundation's Dancing With Our Community Stars Saturday night.
Modero delighted the judges and audience with her tap dancing in "Singing in the Rain" and everyone flipped for Barrett's high-energy performance to "Party Rock Anthem" and "Gangnam Style."
Fourteen local "celebrities" paired with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Montville gave it their all to raise funds for Caldwell-West Caldwell Schools.
The "People's Choice" award went to top fundraiser Leslie List, who has three children in the school district. List danced a cha-cha in a sparkling red costume with her partner Alex Milov.
Modero is the Theater Arts Director at James Caldwell High School, where the competition was held for the second year in a row. Modero's cast of the upcoming spring musical "Kiss Me Kate" previewed a number at the start of each act.
Highlights of the evening included Barrett's flips to start his routine with Belle Padillo. Barrett is a financial planner and president of the Rotary Club of the Caldwells. He said he was determined to win in a video from rehearsals, which was shown on a screen before the dancers competed.
Johnny Guerrero, a second degree black belt and owner of Guerrero's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Caldwell, danced an energetic salsa with his partner Nikki Azcona. Guerrero's fans in the audience whipped out glow sticks during his routine to show their support.
Guerrero wasn't the only dancer to show his Latin roots. Martha Fava, owner of Runway Boutique in Caldwell and founder of sassyshopgirl.com, showed her skills in both fashion and dancing wearing a stunning salmon-colored dress in her salsa number.
Project Main Street Board Member and Grover Cleveland Park Conservancy Trustee Barbara Pucciarello, partnered with Ty Gibson, stunned the crowd with lifts, drops and other stunts in her dance to Bon Jovi's "Runaway," which opened the show.
The district's first-year superintendent, James Heinegg, gave a memorable swing performance and showed some acting chops.
District 4 Freeholder Leonard Luciano, Caldwell Lakeland Bank Assistant Branch Manager Sonal Parikh, Jersey Tomato Press Publisher and CEO Diane Lilli and Jason Lembo, who owns a landscaping and construction company, showed they are more than just business.
Dr. Rob Masella, team physician for James Caldwell High, displayed Chiefs pride in a cheerleading-inspired routine to a dance version of Bryan Adams' "Heaven."
Two ladies showed their love for the hustle and got the crowd's feet tapping, Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing and Lincoln School teacher Doreen Golembeski.
The show was emceed by Ilya Ifraimov, owner of Montville and Princeton Fred Astaire Dance Studios. Judges included former Caldwell Mayor Susan Gartland and two professional ballroom dance champions. The judges raised paddles with numbers on them as in the hit ABC show "Dancing With the Stars" after which the competition is modeled.
This year the audience was able to text votes for their favorite male and female, which ultimately broke the 30-point tie between Masella and Barrett.