A Virtual Format Hasn’t Hampered Fundraising For This Year’s ‘Dance Like The Stars’

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TUPELO, MISS. (WCBI) -This weekend, celebrities from across the region put on their dancing shoes for a great cause. It is time for the annual “Dance Like the Stars”, benefitting the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi.

Keri McMillin is no stranger to the stage or spotlight, but like most celebrity dancers, ballroom dancing for her is new. So when she agreed to take part in “Dance Like the Stars” she set her fundraising and dance routine goals and got to work.

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“I jumped on the chance to do it, it was a perfect time,” McMillin said.

As a housewife, mother, real estate agent, and advertising salesperson, time is a precious commodity for McMillin. But she also knows the impact the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Mississippi makes on children across the area and is part of this year’s “Dance Like the Stars.”

As a celebrity dancer, McMillin agrees to take at least 25 one hour lessons, raise money for the clubs and perform her routine at the big show. This year’s event will be different from previous years, because of COVID-19. The dances will be performed at the Bancorpsouth Arena, but there won’t be an audience. Instead, people can watch the event live on Facebook. McMillin is one of seven dancers for this virtual event, but that hasn’t dampened fundraising efforts.

“We have actually, as a group, already hit our goal, which is amazing, I know with everything going on in our world today and community I’m very surprised and so grateful that people are so willing to give, and I think that’s the state we live in, we are a giving state and I have met my goal, what I set out to do, and we still have time to raise more,” McMillin said.

McMillin’s professional dance instructor is Andrew Davis, of the Dance Studio of Tupelo. This is his third “Dance Like the Stars” and he began teaching his celebrity dance partner the basics of the Latin Samba, and then he choreographed the routine. It is a lot of work for Davis, who is also part of two other routines for the show. But Davis knows all the hard work is worth the effort.

“During these times it’s going to take a lot more to give the kids a safe environment as well as providing all the things the Boys and Girls Club already does,” Davis said.

Millin says she has enjoyed the entire experience.

“Getting out of my comfort zone, learning something that I’ve never done before, and after this I may keep up with ballroom dance lessons,” she said.

McMillin and the other celebrity dancers will continue practicing and raising money, right up to the event, Saturday evening.

Allie will co host the event. It starts at 6;30 Saturday night and you can watch the event on the Facebook page of the Boys and girls Clubs. Then be sure to tune in to WCBI News at Ten Saturday night for the exclusive announcement of the Dance Like the Stars winners. !

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