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Local dancers move to the groove, for charity
'Dance for a Cause' puts 11 local figures on the floor in style of popular TV shows
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‘Dance for a Cause’

When: 6 p.m. Sept. 6

Where: Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St., Gainesville

Tickets: Sold out, but a waiting list is offered at

Sometimes you just have to bust a move. If it’s for a good cause, even better.

Eleven local celebrities will do just that at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at the Gainesville Civic Center in the style of “Dancing with the Stars.”

State Sen. Butch Miller will serve as master of ceremonies for the event, which aims to raise money for local service agencies such as Alliance for Literacy, American Red Cross, Center Point, Rape Response and Teen Pregnancy Prevention Inc.

Gay H. Hammond, artistic Director of Gainesville Theatre Alliance’s Wonderquest and Brenau University theater professor, will serve as a judge alongside Tony Neidenbach, a Gainesville High School graduate currently working as a professional actor and dancer in New York City.

Contestants set to get their groove on Saturday include Stephanie Woodard, the current solicitor-general of Hall County; Bill Coates, the pastor of First Baptist Church; and local radio host Bill Maine. All contestants will be paired with a professional dancer and perform a routine of their choice. In addition to proceeds from the cost of admission going to charity, contestants have raised funds on their own to benefit charitable causes.

Anna Claire Dover, a lifelong Gainesville resident, recent Brenau graduate and granddaughter of local philanthropist Jim Walters, jumped at the chance to be a contestant on Gainesville’s own dancing extravaganza.

“I love dancing and performing, so I was happy to do it,” Dover said. “I’ve done musical theater my entire life, so if that counts as a dance background, then I have had a little experience. Mostly just a jazz square here and there.”

Dover’s professional partner, Aaron James, is a member of the dance crew Royal Flush, who recently competed on “America’s Best Dance Crew.”

“We are going to be doing a hip-hop routine,” Dover said. “(James) says I’m a quick learner, so I guess that means I’m going to try out for ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ next year, obviously.”

Danielle Aikens-Holland, the current artistic director of Northeast Georgia School of Music and Dance, was equally enthusiastic about taking part.

“It’s something that has been on my bucket list,” Aikens-Holland said. “I’ve always wanted to do something similar to ‘Dancing with the Stars,’ so I’m pretty excited.”

Aikens-Holland and her celebrity partner, Gainesville musician Allen Nivens, have been practicing three times a week since August. They plan to perform a disco routine.

“We are currently working on our costumes, but they should be pretty good,” Aikens-Holland said. “It will be a great ’70s throwback.”

While the event is currently sold out, a waiting list exists for interested parties. You can place your name and desired number of tickets for the event by visiting, where attendees will be admitted based on a first come, first serve basis.

If you’re not lucky enough to snag a seat via the waiting list, plenty of great social media moments are sure to arise from the event, which in the end is all about benefitting several good causes.

“All our students are really anxious to see video afterward because they think it’s going to be so much fun,” Aikens-Holland said.

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