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VIDEO: Dancing With Our Community Stars

Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Foundation partnered with Fred Astaire of Montville to create sold-out fundraiser for public schools.

The first-ever “Dancing With Our Community Stars” held Saturday at ’s Center for Performing Arts gets three perfect 10s.

Part-fundraiser, part-competition, the sold out Caldwell-West Caldwell Education Foundation (CWCEF) event was pure fun for audience members who were treated to more than two hours of entertainment.

Modeled after the popular Dancing With the Stars television competition, the evening featured a dozen members of the community partnered with professional dancers from Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Montville. JCHS students also previewed numbers from their upcoming 42nd Street production and pro-am and pro ballroom dancing numbers from Fred Astaire students and teachers were featured throughout the night.

When all was said and danced, three winners walked away with mirror ball trophies: James Caldwell High School Principal Kevin Barnes andSpanish teacher Diana Reyes were the judges’ choices for top male and female; and West Caldwell Councilman Joseph Cecere won the “people’s choice” award by collecting the most donations.

While the CWCEF organized the event, competitors spent anywhere from two months to just two weeks preparing a routine in one of four ballroom dances— rumba, fox trot, tango or salsa.

In addition to Barnes, Reyes and Cecere, the contestants included: Grover Cleveland Middle School Italian Teacher Lisa Manfre, Manager Rebecca Thornton, West Caldwell resident Nick Cofone, Caldwell-West Caldwell Board of Education member Mary Davidson, North Essex Chamber of Commerce Board member Pasquale Nocito, Principal Barbara Adams, Fabian Rosario of in Caldwell, Caldwells Patch Local Editor Teresa Akersten and district Superintendent Daniel Gerardi.

For more information on the CWCEF, visit www.cwcef.org.

The photos keep rolling in—so check back for more highlights from the night or feel free to add your own.

Elizabeth Moore February 13, 2012 at 04:50 PM
So proud of Teresa and her amazing dancing. I think she'll have to teach the rest of us how to Salsa now. Way to go Teresa! Way to represent Patch.
Marcia Worth (Editor) February 13, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Congratulation to all, and a special Patch shout-out to fellow editor Teresa Akersten. Serious effort and serious fun for a wonderful cause!
Shelley Emling February 13, 2012 at 07:51 PM
Well done Teresa! Am so impressed that you did this.. please do teach the rest of us now!

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