Being Bruce -: My Adventure with Dancing with the Brunswick Stars - Journal Entry 1

Friday, March 26, 2010

My Adventure with Dancing with the Brunswick Stars - Journal Entry 1

Well, folks. I'm on another adventure. I'm not climbing mountains or jumping out of planes or doing the Cannonball Run (do they still do that?), but I'm taking on a challenge for a good cause.

This past week I was invited to participate in the 3rd Annual Dancing with the Brunswick Stars!

(Below is a shot of me dancing with my favorite partner in the NBCC offices at a ribbon cutting recently.)


Here's the deal. Brunswick Community College is a fast-growing institution smack in the middle of Brunswick County with satellite campuses in Southport, Leland, and Calabash. They are pairing up a bunch (I don't know how many, probably around 20?) people who live and work and are known in the county for whatever reasons (I'm assuming good ones?) with professional dance instructors to compete in early August.

Why is BCC holding the event? Well, to raise scholarship money. "Oh," you say, "another fund-raiser." And the answer is, "Well, yeah, and last year they raised more than $330,000 and provided more than 200 scholarships!"

Wow! That's called making a difference. So I'm pumped and proud to be asked. The money is raised, by the way, by contributions in support of the dancers and in ticket sales to the event. Lots of promotion from WECT TV and Brunswick County press, too.

I got a call from Susan Lawing of the BCC Development office on Thursday asking if I'd be willing to participate. I was frankly concerned about the time commitment involved, but reassured that it wouldn't be too bad. This event isn't like the TV show where participants essentially suspend everything else in their lives to practice every day for weeks and learn new dances every week. There's only one 90 second dance and we get three months to learn it. The expectation is one practice session a week during May and June, twice a week in July and then the actual event is August 6th. So that's not too bad. I checked with Marge and we agreed it would be fun and a good thing to do for the community.

Plus, I really love to dance. I'm not talented and I've had only a couple of lessons in my whole life, but in high school and college I was a dancing fool. The difference between now and then is now I don't dance so often. So I may not be very good, but I'm certainly enthusiastic.

So I also decided it might be fun to keep a journal of this experience, from start to finish - which I'm already visualizing my instructor partner and I, whoever she is, winning easily!! (There are some categories of awards for the actual dancing, but the biggest win is to the instructor-amateur team that garners the most financial support - as in, who raises the most money!). I'll take some photos and maybe some videos, too, to post in this blog/journal.

I wondered how Susan Lawing got my name but had a suspicion because (recently) former NBCC Executive Director Terry Grillo made a comment at a Business After Hours a month or so that I'd be a good candidate for Dancing with the Brunswick Stars and I just laughed it off. So I asked Susan and she said indeed it was Terry and a couple of other people. I called Terry at the chamber and asked Terri Andress, who answered the phone to tell Terry I wanted to talk to "Grillo, now!" And then when she answered we laughed about it.

Turns out my nomination isn't all that big a deal since they called from BCC needing a male and wanting some representation from the northern part of the county, so I've got to not get too swelled up about being asked - I fit the demographic, that's all. But I do like to dance.

The next day I got a call from Linda Boretti who's coordinating the event. Linda told me we're having a kick-off luncheon on April 12th to introduce the "Stars" and their instructors, who will meet for the first time. The instructors are key to this whole thing of course, and they generously donate their time and effort for those three months in support of this fund raiser.

So I don't know who my instructor is, other than she'll be from around the Leland/Wilmington area so travel time to practice shouldn't be an issue. Whoever you are, thanks in advance for what you're doing for the the students in Brunswick County and the community. I promise I'll work hard and be positive. (And, oh yeah, BTW, did you read I intend for us to win?)

Here's a shot from last year's competition when they awarded a $330,000+ check to BCC President Dr. Steven Greiner.



And here's a link to an article in the South Brunswick Magazine about last year's Dancing with the Brunswick Stars.

So I'll keep you posted on this. Look for more journal entries. Probably the next one will be after the April 12th luncheon.

- Brown out.

6 comments:

  1. Bruce - we look forward to reading about yet another Bruce Brown Great Adventure and attending the performance in August. We know you will make all of us from North Brunswick County proud!
    TG

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  2. Bruce- WOW, I can't wait to meet you. I didn't think anyone could be any more excited than me but maybe I was wrong! This is an exciting event, lots of fun and the end results really does change a lot of students's future success

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  4. Bruce:
    Why don't you ask if you and Marge can dance together and use your "professional" dance partner as the teacher for both of you?

    Tom Hemphill

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  5. Hi Tom,
    That's a cool idea! I'm not sure if that's allowed but I'll check. Marge is certainly willing.
    Thanks,
    Bruce

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  6. So I asked Linda Boretti about Tom's suggestion that Marge and I both dance and she wrote back the following, "If we had done that at the outset, it might have been a good plan... We actually did that the first year. However, we have a pro who is really looking forward to being out on the floor with her star and we don't want to disappoint her."

    Okay, so I'm not sure if the pro she's talking about is 'really looking forward to being out on the floor' with me, in particular, or just whoever her 'star' is, but I'm going to assume the former (Why not? I'm going to take the self-esteem high road and vote 'yes' for myself!). Anyway, I don't know who the pro is and I guess I won't find out till April 12th at the kickoff event at BCC.

    So, whoever you are, I hope you're ready to win this thing because that is my clear and stated intention. Yeah we're going to have fun, yeah we're going to raise a lot of money, and yeah I'm going to work hard. But guess what? We're gonna win!"

    See you soon,

    Bruce

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