Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Birmingham FADS Hearing Impaired Student Inspired by “DWTS” Matlin

Stepping confidently in her strappy black high-heeled sandals, Pamela Dangovian practices the quick moves of the cha-cha.

The 48-year-old mom and community volunteer from Birmingham keeps her eyes on the face of her instructor, Leonid Sidorenko, as they move around the roomy floor of the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Bloomfield Hills.

She's reading his lips to follow his coaching, because, like current "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Marlee Matlin, she is deaf.

After seeing Matlin compete on ABC's ballroom dancing competition, she got in touch with the studio through the Michigan Relay Center, which helps hearing-impaired people, among others, communicate by phone.

She was inspired by watching Matlin do the cha-cha, waltz and quickstep. Now she's gliding smoothly along in her footsteps.

"I've seen her movies, her TV shows," says Dangovian. "When I saw her on the dance floor, I thought if she can do it, I can do it."

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Area Celebrities Prepare to Step Lively For Charity

Montgomery, AL. Fred Astaire studio partners with locals for good cause
Don't even try to tear Sherry Nath away from the TV during ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."
Just ask her husband, Chuck, who's not even supposed to talk to her unless there's a commercial break.

On Saturday, Nath will have a front-row view of the cha-cha, the tango, the hustle and more at Dancing with Celebrities, a fundraiser she organized to benefit the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. With help from Christa DeButts of the Capital City Club and others in the community, Nath convinced Montgomery area celebs to step in, learn new dances -- and perform in a competition.

"When my husband suggested it, I wasn't sure we could really pull it off," said Nath, a cancer survivor who is serving as the chairwoman of this year's Relay for Life. "But everybody has been so supportive, and it has been a lot of fun."
For weeks now, Fred Astaire Dance Studio instructors have worked with dancing celebs Charlie Colvin, Sieu Tang Wood, Nancy Shinbaum, Homer Horton, Richard Coats and Leslie Bailey, who will compete that evening, with José Barraza serving as DJ and Susan Woody as mistress of ceremonies.

During the event, which includes dinner, guests will vote on their favorite couples by making a donation. The celebrity with the most money wins.
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