TEGA CAY — Five celebrity dancers laid it all out on the dance floor in support of Fort Mill middle school athletes.
One came home the Mirror Ball Champion.
The third annual Dancing With the Stars - Fort Millwas held Feb. 22 at the Tega Cay Glennon Community Center.
Local celebrities paired up with professional dancers and showed off the two dances they learned in two months.
Dancing With the Stars raised $40,000 for middle school athletics, which rely heavily on fundraisers and donations after budget cuts affected Fort Mill schools, co-chairwoman Lisa McCarley told the audience.
“This year’s cast blew me away,” she said.
Bob DeLong and his partner Gabriela Sevillano took home the coveted trophy with the overall highest score, fundraising and crowd appeal combined.
“I didn’t expect to win,” DeLong said. “This is the most fun I’ve had since I can remember.”
DeLong is co-owner of Dolce Lusso Salon and Day Spa with his wife Christy. Sevillano is a professional dancer at Dance Center USA and has training in a variety of styles, including ballroom and ballet.
“We’re ecstatic,” Sevillano said. “We’ve been working hard on and off the dance floor.”
Sevillano attributed the team’s fundraising success to DeLong’s dedication.
“It was great teamwork,” she said. “I have the best partner in the world.”
Hundreds of residents came out to support their favorite celebrity dancer.
DeLong’s supporters donned pink and green “Support Bob” T-shirts while waving cut outs of their favorite dancer’s face.
“He supports the community,” said Indian Land resident Shanna Smith. “This is our way to give back to him.”
Also with a room full of support was this year’s Dance Trophy winners Celia McCarter and Dmitriy Solomakha, who won the night with scores of nines and 10s.
“For me, winning is about raising more money this year than last year,” McCarter said. “This win is for the kids.”
McCarley said Dancing With the Stars is on its way to becoming the only event needed to raise the $60,000needed to maintain middle school athletics.
Celebrity dancer Caryn Scroggs, who was sidelined with an injury, said she appreciated the packed house.
“I’m excited to see so many people here to support middle school sports and the dancers,” she said.
This year’s judges included Cynthia Beers, who trained at Alabama School of Fine Arts and San Jose Ballet. Also on the panel were:
• Delano Little of WBTV is a Fort Mill resident who holds a bachelor of science degree in Biology and a minor in communications from Georgia Southern University, where he played wide receiver.
• Fort Mill native Patti Mercer was crowned Mrs. South Carolina United States in 2006 and is the director for the Strawberry Festival pageant.