November 11, 2019
by Shirley McMarlin
TribLive - The Champions of Dance competition proves that age is just a number when it comes to cutting a rug.
Held Nov. 8 in the Ramada by Wyndham Greensburg Hotel & Conference Center, the annual event benefits the United Way’s Open Your Heart to a Senior companionship program.
Competitors Leslie Schupp and Bruce Meyer were introduced as having an average age of 70, and Meyer quipped, “I’m not only a dancer, I’m also a potential customer.”
Not to be outdone by the youngsters, Schupp and Meyer samba-ed their way to three perfect 10 scores and took second in the judges’ scoring.
The judges awarded first place to a contemporary freestyle routine by Michael Lorenze and Laura Johnson, who also topped the people’s choice voting. Third place from the judges and second place in people’s choice voting went to swing dancers Andrea Bortoluzzi and Addison Whetzel.
People’s choice third place went to Adam Ferri and Khrystal Gresko Ferri for their contemporary Argentine tango.
Also competing were partners Ginny Clara and Daniel DeStephen, cha cha; Claudia Komondor and David Mileski, cha cha; Maria Lavelle and Harod Barrett, tango; and Jared and Eve Squires, West Coast swing.
Prior to the competition, co-emcee Aubrey Worek-DeStephen and students from her business, FitnessEnvi, performed a freestyle routine and Mariah Thoma did a solo tap dance.
OYHS program director Melaney Hegyes and United Way Westmoreland Region director Alyssa Cholodofsky introduced a video about senior services OYHS provides.
During intermission, Reed Nelson and his Nelson Loguasto crew wowed the crowd with a hip-hop dance, complete with stilt walker, glow sticks, smoke and fireworks.
Sharing emcee duties was Trooper Stephen Limani, Pennsylvania State Police public relations officer. Judges were Billy Urbanik, Kelly Sasso and Dave Wodoslawsky.
Laura Johnson served as event director, while Jerry and Judy Gresko of TDI Gresko Ballroom Dance handled logistics on the dance floor.