Allen in local Dancing with the Stars fundraiser
By Annette Aubinger
SUAMICO – Sixth grade teacher Anna Allen at Lineville Intermediate School is doing what she loves to do best in her spare time, dancing.
Allen is again appearing in the annual American Red Cross local Dancing with Our Stars (DWOS) fundraiser, now in its 10th year.
“My students have been so helpful. They helped organize and run all the fundraisers I do at school,” she said. “One of the big reasons I wanted to do this event again was I loved watching my students get so involved with helping others. They have really stepped up to support the Red Cross.”
Allen has loved teaching for 16 years, but she has another passion, dance.
Dance and performing has always been a part of Allen’s life.
“We would put on the soundtrack to ‘Dirty Dancing’ and dance around the living room for hours,” Allen said of her and her younger sister.
Allen danced throughout high school and received a dance scholarship for UW-Green Bay.
While attending Green Bay she was part of the Phoenix Pride Dance Team and performed in Danceworks and in the musical “Pippin” held at the Weidner Center.
She also enjoys teaching and choreographing studio dance at Birder Studio as well as musicals in her spare time.
Recently she performed in St. Norbert’s Music Theatre’s “Cats.”
“I loved every minute of that crazy Jellicle experience,” she said.
Allen said she is able to perform because her husband Jerome is supportive and makes sure he can help in whatever way possible.
They have been married for seven years and have two children, Asher, five and Lyla, three.
“My kids love the fact that their mommy dances in big shows,” she said.
Allen’s favorite moment from DWOS 2016 was working with her partner Michael Witte.
He was her partner in 2016 and will be her partner this year as well.
“We are both middle school science teachers with a passion for performance. Every rehearsal was full of story swapping and a little bit of dancing,” she said. “I enjoyed the experience so much the first time that I jumped at the idea of doing it again. I love the fact that I get to help raise money for such wonderful organization by doing something that has been a part of my life since I was 7.”
The Red Cross was there when her friend’s house burned down, providing her friend and her friend’s family with the supplies and support they needed.
“I am thankful for all they do and I am honored to participate in DWOS All-Stars,” she said. “I also loved getting to know all the Red Cross volunteers and my fellow DWOS participants.”
The DWOS campaign will culminate with a two-night extravaganza.
First will be a Disco Dance Party fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 23 and then the traditional ballroom dance show the following night on Saturday, Feb. 24.
Both events will take place at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay and will feature appearances by professional ballroom dancers Peta Murgatroyd and Maksim Chmerkovskiy. People in attendance will receive the chance to win personal experiences with Peta and Maksim, including the opportunity to dance with them.
There are a couple of other ways people can support Anna and her dancing.
People can vote on crowdrise.com/redcrossallstars.
Each dollar is a vote.
The night of the event, those in attendance can vote for their favorite dance.
The participant that raises the most money will receive a special Mirror Ball Trophy.
The judges (Maksim and Peta from the show “Dancing with The Stars”) will choose a Judges Choice winner and runner up for best performance.
The audience will also choose a winner and runner up for their favorite dances.
“Although it was a competition, everyone cheered each other on,” Allen said of the past performance. “It was a truly magnificent experience which is why I decided to take part in DWOS All-Stars again.”
People interested in purchasing tickets should send an email to [email protected]