WTVM’s Jason Dennis prepares for Dancing Stars of Columbus, how you can help

Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 11:39 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - In less than a month, News Leader 9 anchor Jason Dennis will be taking to the dance floor in the annual event Dancing stars of Columbus.

It’s exciting and nerve-wracking but the most important part is we’re raising money for a worthy cause which you can help out with here: https://www.wtvm.com/dance/.

“Dancing is a wonderful way to exercise because you’re having fun at the same time,” longtime dance instructor Tracie Chamblee said.

It’s been fun and challenging for Jason to learn the jazzy hip hop routine from his pro partner Chamblee at Cottrell Dance Studio, all for next month’s Dancing Stars of Columbus. And this week, we’re giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how practice is going.

“You’ve got the steps down and you’re working hard. We practice every day for about an hour,” Chamblee said to Jason.

“Get to teach people who want to dance but never had formal training,” the event’s pro liaison Joshua Edens said.

He has been a pro in what he calls one of the best events in Columbus for 8 seasons, paired with 10 different stars. Eden is dancing with 2 this year, says it’s like cramming 9 months of normal rehearsals into less than 3 months. News Leader 9′s Barbara Gauthier impressed with her dance last year.

“Seeing these stars step out of their comfort zone, doing an amazing job, making it entertaining...again, showing their hard work to us pros and to the people attending, that’s a win in itself,” Edens added.

Harris County native Chamblee has been dancing since she was 5 years old, and teaching it for two decades to girls as young as 3. She says dance teaches people of all ages values like teamwork and not being afraid to get in front of people.

“There are days when dance becomes more than just dance, it’s life lessons here and there,” she said. “Everybody has someone in their family or knows someone who’s affected by Alzheimer’s.”

Dance, in this case, is being used to help in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease. Both of Chamblee’s grandmothers had dementia and she calls it heartbreaking. Donations toward this dance event all go to the Alzheimer’s Association to provide support to loved ones caring for some of the 6 million Americans with this disease.

“They help these families get through this time in their lives, one of the biggest things these people worry about is you’re becoming the sole caregiver,” Edens added.

Talking about Alzheimer’s, Chamblee told us, “To watch them just really disappear in front of your eyes, some days they know who you are, some days they don’t, personality changes.”

To hear the full conversation with Jason’s pro partner about this event and the cause, go to https://www.wtvm.com/page/podcast/.

The Dancing Stars of Columbus on April 13 at the Columbus Trade Center. You only have until March 30 though to buy your tickets, and it may sell out soon.

Go to https://act.alz.org/site/TR?px=22073268&pg=personal&fr_id=16244 to get your tickets, be a sponsor, make a donation. That is also a vote for Jason to help him win. Again, all the money helping the Alzheimer’s Association.