LUBBOCK, Texas — In less than two weeks, six local celebrities and their dance partners will be taking the stage in an effort to raise money for our South Plains wish kids.

“For them to come this far in such a short time is remarkable,” said Acencio Garcia, Choreographer and owner of Absolute Dance.

Sohail Hooda and his partner are learning the cha-cha, and it’s definitely not a waltz in the park.

“It’s a lot of lifts that we’re going to be doing in our performance,” said dancer Makayla Merigan.

“I think between Makayla and Acencio, they really made it comfortable,” Hooda said. “They kind of take a methodical approach to dancing.”

Justin Sullivan came in to save the day after someone else had to drop out of the competition. He’s a long-time veteran of Cirque De Soleil, but says his acrobatic skills are much different than gliding across the ballroom floor.

“I’m very robotic and tight in my movements,” said Sullivan. “It’s translating what I knew before and trying to re arrange it in my head and do it a different way. so, it’s been a mental exercise but fun.”

Sullivan’s been working on his dance for just three weeks. His sister Kyndra Watson’s background is cheer and learning this new skill hasn’t been easy either.

“I don’t know if you would necessarily call that dance experience by any means. Acencio thinks I’m way too tight, so learning to be loose has been a bit of a challenge. So that’s about it to my dance experience,” said Watson.

Each week these dancers are in class at least once and sometimes multiple days.

“I’m hard on them there’s no doubt about it, but I want them to look good and I want them to put on a show!” said Garcia.

KAMC’s Ryan Chandler is looking forward to his performance, as the hard work continues until the competition.

“I feel good about it, we’ve come a long way and still have work to do.” said dancer Sharon Jones. “I can’t believe how far we’ve come under Acencio’s guidance. I came here with absolutely no experience at all. and now I can actually feel somewhat confident and not feel like I have two left feet that I’m tripping over so I’m excited it’s going to be a good time.”

Of course, every dancer has just one goal in mind, helping out our deserving wish kids.

“The last time I heard, there were more than sixty wish kids just in our region who are waiting to have their wishes granted but they need that support. So, if the small efforts of just the five to ten people here who can dance can make a difference for that many kids. That’s what it’s all about. It’ll make all the work worth it.” said Chandler.

If you’d like to get involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, give them a call at (806) 785-9474

If you’d like to learn more about Absolute Dance Studio, click here.