by Michelle Pawelski, BHSU
Nearly 200 Black Hills State University faculty, staff, students and community members were present to cheer on their favorite dancing duo at the first annual "Dancing with the Staff" fundraiser.
The event, sponsored by the BHSU University Programming (UP) student organization, raised $530 for the South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund, a fund established last October to provide support and financial assistance to those in the agriculture industry impacted by Winter Storm Atlas.
"We were thrilled to make over $500 for Ranchers Relief," said Jessie Gramm, exercise science major from Burlington, Colo., UP team member. "We have already received bids from people that want to dance next year. We can't wait to see this event take place again next spring."
Audience members cheered as they witnessed the hip hop moves of Mike Jastorff, director of the BHSU bookstore, the hip shakes of John Reiners, BHSU head football coach, the John Travolta-like disco dancing of Bob Dooley, director of dining services, and the high kicks and hand jives of Jane Klug, director of the Student Union. The competition featured eight teams comprised of BHSU faculty and staff from various University departments paired with students from the BHSU dance team and swing dancing club.
The overall winner of the night was Klug and her partner Dustin Hall, history major from Rapid City, dancing the Charleston. The couple dressed in 1920s fashion – the era the dance originated. Each audience member also voted on their favorite couple and the People's Choice award went to Melissa Haught, student success advisor, and Teddy Langhout, outdoor education major from Woodbury, Minn.
The couples were judged on a variety of factors including creativity, energy, costumes and overall performance. Judges included BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp; Shandell Clutter, graphic design and communication major from Sturgis and public relations director for the UP Team; and Amanda Goetz, BHSU alumna and former Jackettes team member.
Emcees for the night were Hannah Kloiber, speech communication major from Parker, Colo., and Bryan Shurigar, psychology major from North Platte, Neb., and variety events chair for the UP Team.
Prior to each team dancing, a behind-the-scenes video about the team's preparations and interviews with the "professional" and the "star" played. The night also included three performances from the BHSU Jackettes.
Below is a complete list of the "Dancing with the Staff" teams along with a clip from their practice: