LUBBOCK, Texas — “Dancing with the Stars” is a hugely popular show on ABC.
Did you know there is a similar dancing competition right here in the Hub City?
KAMC’s Ryan Chandler is one of the star dancers for the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Waltzing for Wishes Gala.
“He’s actually a really good dancer he just doesn’t know it.” said Sharon Jones
Ryan is stepping way outside of his comfort zone for our wish kids.
With zero dancing experience, he’s getting a crash course in ball room dance.
“As you can probably tell, I’m not much of a dancer. said Chandler, Acencio’s a great teacher and we’re in great hands.
Ryan and his professional partner Sharon Jones are taking on the hesitational waltz. It’s a slower paced waltz, with a lot of pizzaz!
“You can tell we’ve been working hard. Here I am sweating, lots of lifts, lots of turns, it’s an exercise every time. It’s a fun challenge. I think it’ll be worth it in the end.” said Chandler.
Acencio Garcia is the owner of Absolute Dance. He’s a professional ballroom dancer and brains behind the choreography.
He’s not changing any steps, which means Ryan has a lot of work to do.
“Ryan’s choreography is not easy at all. I’m telling you; professionals would struggle with it,” said Garcia.
Ryan will compete against five other teams, and with just twelve weeks until the gala, they’ve got to put this dance into double time.
“It’s not just us, we’re just the entertainment, right? This is really going to be because of the support of the community and really come out and donate for these kids,” Chandler said. “So that’s what it’s really all about.”
It is something that hits close to home for these two.
“My nephew is a former wish kid.” said Jones.
“It really is an honor to have the privilege to be a part of this. Hopefully, we can make a big difference. It’s already making a big difference in my life. I’m taking away a new skill so I hope that a lot of other kids in our community can benefit from it and have all their wishes granted.” said Chandler.
Garcia has also seen how the Make-A-Wish Foundation changes and brings joy to kids battling life threatening illnesses.
“The Make-A-Wish Foundation needs all the money they can get, and the problem is they don’t get enough.” said Garcia.
Just like the kids, their dancing for this team is staying positive about the challenges ahead.
“I can speak in front of a camera all day but ask me to use my feet and well you see how that went today. We’re going to get there, we got time.” said Chandler.
“He’s going to be there in the running. It’s going to be a tight race; I think Ryan is going to do well.” said Garcia.
The gala is on Saturday, August 27. Tables seat ten people and start at $2,500.
If you’d like to get involved with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, just give them a call at 806-785-9474.