Nine Philadelphia notables are lacing up their dance shoes for the fourth year of “Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars” taking place on Sunday, April 22. The competition boasts a lineup of fancy-footed media folks, political bigwigs, and lifestyle and hospitality leaders. Burning up the floor with everything from the Argentine tango to the Foxtrot are Councilwoman Marian Tasco; Julie Dorenbos, co-owner of Skin Palette and wife of Philadelphia Eagle Jon Dorenbos; Marisa Magnatta, associate producer of WMMR’s Preston & Steve Morning Show; Anastasia Karloutsos, co-owner of Water Works Restaurant; Nina Tinari, partner at T2 Consultants LLC and former special assistant to Governor Rendell; Kharisma McIlwaine, CW Philly/CBS3 reporter; Michael Days, managing editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer; Eric Cortes, marketing and promotions coordinator/producer for Telemundo Philadelphia; and Kevin Gatto, owner of Verde Salon and lifestyle correspondent for CBS3’s “Talk Philly.” Each celebrity dancer his partnered with an instructor from the Society Hill Dance Academy to perform a 2-minute dance routine before a panel judges. Last year’s event successfully raised a little over $50,000.
“It’s a fun way to raise money. I was excited when they called me to do it,” said Councilwoman Tasco. “I’m doing the cha-cha, and you know I know how to cha-cha, but it’s a big differnece from line dancing and jumping up to do the cha-cha.”
The purpose behind “Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars” is to assist in raising money to fund sickle cell education and programs, and shine the spotlight on a genetic disease that exists in staggeringly high numbers in the African-American and Hispanic communities.
Often called the “forgotten disease,” sickle cell disease affects 1 out of every 500 African Americans, and approximately 80,000 individuals. “One out of every 10–12 African Americans are carriers of the sickle cell trait, and approximately 2.5 million Americans,” explained SCDAA/PDVC Executive Director Stanley Simpkins. “It’s not a disease that is heavily discussed; many people don’t even know what it is. We wanted to do something that would catch the people’s attention. With Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars, we said ‘Wow, what better way to get people to take notice?’”
The 4th Annual Dancing with the Philadelphia Stars takes place on Sunday, April 22, 5 p.m.–10 p.m., at the Crystal Tea Room, located at 100 E. Penn Square. For more information, visit www.dancingwiththephiladelphiastars.com.