Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dancing With The Stars - College Competition Night!

from kpcnews.com:

BY LINDSAY WINSLOW BROWN lindsayb@kpcnews.net
Monday, 10 May 2010 04:57

AUBURN — DeKalb High School graduate Lincoln Slentz will show off his mambo moves during the results show of “Dancing with the Stars” Tuesday at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Slentz, a chemistry major, is part of Purdue University’s Latin and Ballroom Dance Team.

He is one of eight people selected to perform a minute-and-a-half routine as part of an amateur college dance competition. The routine will take place in front of a live TV audience during the reality show, which features amateur celebrity dancers partnered with professionals.

If Purdue wins the competition, the team will appear on the final show May 25.

Dan Rutherford, who teaches at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio in Indianapolis, told Purdue coaches Daniel Dilley and Yuehwern Yih about the opportunity to compete on the show. Only undergraduate students are allowed to participate. Older students, who had intended to apply, were ineligible. So, Slentz and seven others were asked to learn a mambo routine.

The group started practicing the dance two weeks ago.

“It’s not one of my favorites, but it’s a lot of fun,” Slentz said. “It’s a dance I’m not used to doing. … The technique is slightly different than what I’m used to.”

Slentz spent four years in DeKalb High School’s show choir and band, and his desire to perform didn’t leave when he turned his tassle to graduate.

“I absolutely love performing for people. It’s something that I’ve loved to do forever. It’s a passion of mine. After studying for an entire semester, I wasn’t getting that,” Slentz said.

“Lincoln is a great kid,” said his high school choir director, Shelley Johnson. “He’s an all-around excellent music student. … One of those kids you never want to have leave your program. He’s still got the bug to perform.”

Slentz often participated in musicals and had the lead role in “Hair” during his sophomore year at Purdue.

After seeing a flier advertising a call-out for the dance team early in his college career, he joined the group.

“I’d had no ballroom experience at all. I had little bits of framework, but didn’t really know what I was doing,” Slentz said. He added that he had an occasional tap-dance or hip-hop lesson.

He and his partner, Tracy Matz, go to lessons twice a week and then practice between six and 15 hours per week. He learned the routine for “Dancing with the Stars,” but can’t give away too many secrets.

“We learned it. Quickly is a relative term. We practiced a lot. In the grand scheme of things, we probably learned it quickly,” Slentz said.

Slentz and his fellow dancers will fly to Hollywood Monday morning.

“It will be nonstop until we take a red-eye back sometime Tuesday night,” Slentz said.

“We’re all very nervous. We’re all very excited, too. I won’t say it trumps how much we’re nervous. The girls are going to be basket cases, and we’ll probably be freaking out, too,” Slentz said.

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