MERIDEN – Rehearsal was in full swing recently as contestants in next month’s charity event “Dancing with the Stars of Meriden” boogied across the floor of Higher Movement Dance Studio with their partners.
“This is a brand new experience,” said Matt Munson, a former contestant on ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”
Munson and three other local “stars” will participate in the dance competition benefiting the nonprofit Seniors Have Dreams Too.
The “stars” have been partnered with instructors at the dance studio to prepare to face each other at the Silver City Ballroom on Aug. 3, starting at 6 p.m.
“I thought ‘what a great way to get everyone out there, to get involved with the community and just have fun,’” said Kirby Shields, owner of Higher Movement Dance Studio.
Shields will be dancing with Munson next month in a jazz-style routine.
Seniors Have Dreams Too grants wishes for senior citizens.
“We believe that no matter how old you are there should be something for you to look forward to,” said Sally Smith, founder of the non-profit.
“I think it’s wonderful (Shields is) doing this for us,” Smith added.
The contestants chose different types of dances for the competition.
“I wanted to do something really fun and high energy, something that we could get into, something that the crowd could get into and hopefully vote for us,” said dance instructor Chloie McMahon.
McMahon will be dancing to a 1990s mashup with Officer Joseph Stoute of the Meriden Police Department.
“I accepted the challenge,” Stoute said. “I am learning a lot.”
McMahon said she has been teaching Stoute everything from hip-hop to ballet.
“I think after this I’m going to start a career in dance,” Stoute said. “Probably not.”
The team showed off their moves with throwback tunes including the Titanic movie theme.
Meanwhile, Shields and Munson were perfecting their kicks and synchronizing their rhythm.
“He practices at home, I can tell because he comes back and he (is) better than the last time we practiced,” Shields said.
“This is my community, this is where I’m from and the cause is a terrific one,” Munson added.
Alyssa Taglia of WTNH-TV is also a guest star in the dance event, along with Tony Quinones of the Connecticut Army National Guard.
“I grew up as a competitive dancer, though I don’t dance anymore, any chance I get to dust off my dance shoes and perform, I am 100 percent invested,” Taglia said. “Any opportunity I get to volunteer my time and give back to the generation that paved the way for us, I am also 100 percent invested.”
More information can be found at http://www.highermovementdance.com/