Ken Baker, Mary Grace Colburn ready for competition
By BRENDA HARRISON Editor of The News Journal Florence, S.C. Ken Baker claims he and Mary Grace Colburn are “pumped and ready” to present their jive dance at the 2018 Dancing For Our Future Stars competition on March 22.
The couple will perform to the upbeat song, “Hey Mickey,” dressed as a baseball player and cheerleader.
Ken Baker is an account executive for WMBF TV. He has dance experience performing in musical theatre in his hometown of Cincinnati, but this is his first time competing.
All proceeds from this major fund-raising event will go to The School Foundation. To date, the foundation has provided over $1,355,377 in grants to FSD1 educators.
Ken, who has worked as an WMBF reporter, said he saw first hand how The School Foundation has benefitted the students.
While delighted to support this great cause, Ken admits he was a little nervous until he started working with Mary Grace.
“She is wonderful. She is giving me grace,” he said.
Mary Grace, a student at Francis Marion University, teaches dance classes at Kelley Fine Arts. She has studied and danced with KFA for 16 years.
She has competed in similar dance competitions around this area, but this is her first time competing in DFOFS.
”Ken dances really well,” Mary Grace stated, adding he is her first dance partner who is close to her height.
“He does well with the flip and I feel really good about our performance,” she said.
“Honestly, I don’t have to take a lot of time repeating the steps. I forget he’s not a professional,” she said.
The pair are working on a special trick that will shock the audience, they said.
Ken and Mary Grace will square-off with the other celebrities and dance professionals at the SiMT on March 22 for a chance to win the coveted mirror ball trophy at this 8th annual dance competition. A reception will begin at 6 p.m. followed by the competition at 7 p.m. Guests will have an opportunity to win a custom-designed jewelry piece donated by Lisa and Lex Matthews of Southern Jewelry Design.
The remaining dance couples for this year’s event are:
• Dr. Lisa Bishara (McLeod Health) and Joseph Steen
• Louie Callahan (Burch Oxner Seale Co., CPAs) and Alexis McDonald
• Ron Glancy (Raines Hospitality) and Tiffany Welsh
• David Hall (First Reliance Bank) and Erin Haynes
• Dr. Ramzy Hourany (Carolinas Hospital System) and Julia Thompson
• Jammie McDonald (First Citizens Bank) and Cole Davis
• Joey McMillan (Coldwell Banker McMillan and Associates) and Katelyn Rodgers
• Dr. Calvin Robinson (Trinity Baptist Church) and Fallon Frierson
• Chris Rogers (Carver Elementary School) and Morgan Truitt
• Robbie Timms (BB&T) and Meggie Baker
• Les Ward (Pepsi of Florence, LLC/Pee Dee Food Service) and Mallory Baxley
Fans may vote online for their favorite couple(s) at DancingForOurFutureStarsOfFlorence.com for $10 per vote. The “People’s Choice” mirror ball trophies will be awarded to the three couples raising the most votes.
A panel of judges will name one couple “Technical Skills Winner” based on the contestants’ overall skills. One couple will also be chosen as “Most Entertaining” by the judges. Dancers receiving the largest number of online votes will be awarded the “Social Stars” trophy.
School Foundation board member Ed Love and local celebrity Audra Coble will serve as master and mistress of ceremonies. The 2017 celebrities will perform the opening act and the KFA Fierce Team will provide special entertainment throughout the evening.
To learn more about The School Foundation, visit their website at www.theschoolfoundation.org.