By Cindy Sanawong
On Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts, Sacred Heart University’s Class of 2019 Student Government hosted Dancing with Heart.
Dancing with Heart is an event where students pair up with a faculty or staff member and perform in a dance competition, similar to the American television series, “Dancing with the Stars.”
“It was pretty nerve wracking,” said School of Communication and Media Arts Graduate Assistant Nick Capitelli. “It was a fun experience though. It’s not something I usually get involved in, so it was a fun first for me.”
Nine couples participated in the event: Student Activities Graduate Assistant Julia Romano with junior Cory Robinson, Campus Minister Devon McCormick with senior Michael Lenard, Department of Public Safety Officer Steph Trelli with sophomore Danny Elia, Capitelli with freshman Grace Farley, Fire Safety Officer Frank Novak with sophomore Taryn McCormick, Residence Hall Director of Pioneer Gardens and Oakwood Commons Allison Wetterauw with junior CJ Parvelus, Director of Student Conduct Channing Vidal with junior Manuela Contreras, Student Financial Assistance Graduate Assistant Gregory Diaz with sophomore Brooke McCarthy, and Admissions Counselor Rudy Favard with sophomore Kaitlyn Todaro.
In order to compete, participants had to be invited or nominated by members of the Sacred Heart community.
“I’m actually not sure how I got nominated,” said Diaz. “Whoever did, I cannot thank them enough.”
In preparation for the event, the couples spent weeks choreographing and rehearsing their routines. Some of the performances included a hip hop dance to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” and recreations of “Bop to the Top” and “I Don’t Dance” from the “High School Musical” franchise.
Not only were there a variety of dance styles, but also corresponding costumes.
Trelli and Elia put together a 70s disco theme where they dressed in red and white disco attire with wigs and sunglasses. They danced to “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees and “Thriller” by Michael Jackson.
Dancing with Heart is not a competition about who dances the best and gets the most points. The judges on the panel look for whose performances were the most creative, fun, exciting and entertaining.
“It was a great show,” said sophomore Kalliopi Gatzoflias. “It was wonderful to see my friends and favorite SHU staff have a fun time.”
When the performances were over, the judges announced the winners.
Romano and Robinson won “Best Crowd Pleaser with Creative Stage Presence,” McCormick and Lenard won “Most Swag,” and Vidal and Contreras won “Most Likely to Be in ‘Dancing with the Stars.’”
Diaz and McCarthy won first place and Wetterauw and Parvelus won second.
“The show was awesome,” said sophomore Katelyn Mull. “It was so fun to watch everyone up there having such a great time.”
The event gave both the students and faculty members the opportunity to connect outside of the environment they normally would.
“It was cool to interact with the students outside the office,” said Romano.
Although it’s a competition, Dancing with Heart represents the school’s community.
“There was so much energy on stage that truly embodied Sacred Heart University,” said sophomore Courtney Kramer.