DWTS dancer passes on love of sports to kids

Special to the Fort Mill TimesFebruary 3, 2014 

Roger Costner and dance pro Lauren Ashley rehearse for the upcoming "Dancing With The Stars - Fort Mill" fundraiser for middle school sports.

STEPHANIE MARKS MARTELL — STEPHANIE MARKS MARTELL

  • Tickets on sale now

    “Dancing With the Stars - Fort Mill” will be held 7 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Glennon Community Center in Tega Cay. Doors will open at 6 p.m. for dinner tickets and 6:45 p.m. for show only tickets. VIP tickets are $100 and include dinner, dessert, pre-dinner cocktails and the after show celebration. Tickets for the show and after show party are $50. Get tickets and more information at fortmillathletics.com.

— For longtime York County resident Roger Costner, fulfilling a goal also means supporting a cause dear to his heart.

Costner started Costner Brothers Cooling and Heating in 1985 with his brother Donald. As the business grew, the name was changed in 2002 to Brothers Air, Heat and Plumbing and the company now has more than 150 employees. Costner will take on a new challenge when he competes as part of the third annual “Dancing With the Stars – Fort Mill” fundraiser for middle school sports.

Sports gives students something to do after school and teaches them valuable lessons, Costner said.

By competing, “the students learn how to succeed in a job and life,” he said.

Costner, who lives in Fort Mill, knows the benefits of sports firsthand. He was a student-athlete and now watches his children participate. Costner and his wife Sharon have five children, Sarah Ashley, Evan, Ryan, Victoria and Alex. Alex attends Gold Hill Middle School, where he played seventh grade football last fall.

Middle school athletics are also something that hits home for Costner’s dance partner, Lauren Ashley, an independent dance instructor. Ashley said sports gave her something to be a part of in middle school.

“In that age group, it is so difficult to figure out who you are,” she said. Ashley said sports helps students “understand more about themselves and how they fit in the community.”

The pair will be competing in DWTS because middle school sports programs in Fort Mill are self-funded. DWTS is the largest revenue generator for the programs.

Costner said it is also an opportunity to learn ballroom dance. He and his wife plan to continue taking lessons after the event.

“This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” he said. “It’s difficult, but I think I can do it.”

The pair has been practicing twice a week since Thanksgiving. Costner said he has seen progress.

“I’m coming along,” he said. “We are going to be great entertainment.”

Ashley said she is happy with Costner’s dedication.

“He has completely thrown himself into the fire for this project,” she said. “I enjoy being able to share my love for dance with someone who may not have danced on their own.”

Ashley, who is double majoring in dance and international business at the University of North Carolina and has experience in jazz, ballet, modern and ballroom, said she hopes the event inspires others to get up and move.

“Just have fun with it,” she said. “I’m excited to show Fort Mill and Rock Hill what I’ve created.”

Ashley and Costner hope to gain sponsors through word of mouth and social media.

The pair said they plan to take home the coveted mirror ball trophy.

“We’re fast, we’ve got class and we’re built to last,” Ashley said

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