Swingin' for SERVE

Organization to host fundraising dance competition

“To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.” —Hopi Indian Saying

SERVE, Inc. is searching for 20 pairs of Callaway residents who are willing to speak with their hearts — and their feet —on behalf of the service organization.

On April 2, SERVE — which provides a variety of services ranging from a food pantry and homeless prevention assistance to transportation and employment resources — is hosting Swingin’ for SERVE, a dance competition to raise money to help support those efforts. With a preliminary dance-off scheduled for March 19, Executive Director Lisa Brown said her organization is searching for area residents who are willing to strut their stuff for a good cause.

“The rules are really open: They have to be a pair, but we’re not limiting the style (of dance),” Brown said. “There’s a $250 sponsorship fee (per couple); we already have had some businesses step up and say they would sponsor a team.”

Couples are required to prepare a 1- to 2-minute dance routine in the style of their choice, and to provide their own music. The preliminary round on March 19 will whittle competitors down from 20 to five teams, with the finalists slated to perform during a dinner and silent auction on April 2.

Brown said the group still is working on lining up judges and putting together scoring criteria.

“I would imagine some of the things would be ability to appeal to an audience and some of those more vague things, rather than technical skills, which would be hard (to judge) if you’ve got one couple doing ballroom dance and another doing swing dancing and someone else doing hip hop.”

Brown said the concept of doing a large-scale fundraiser — the first time SERVE has put on an event of this nature — has been percolating for some time.

“We’d been talking about needing to do a big event for a while,” she said. “We knew we needed to come up with something fun and interesting and that might appeal to people who haven’t been involved with SERVE before to generate their interest in the cause.”

The idea to do a dance competition came from a brainstorming session with SERVE administrators, board members and supporters.

“It’s going to be a really good time; it’s going to be a ton of fun,” Brown said. “I would encourage somebody who doesn’t have dance experience especially. It’s going to be more fun if we have a lot of people out there having a great time.

“It’s not about having good footwork or lots of dance experience, it’s about getting out there and having a great time for a good cause.”

For more information, or to sign up to dance, contact Brown at (573) 642-6388, or at serveed@socket.net. Teams will be selected on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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