MANKATO — Twenty years ago or so, at an elementary school in Belle Plaine, the public dance career of Scott Bergs was born.
He took the stage, he recalls, wearing a paper bag on his head — inspired by the then-famous “Unknown Comic,” both for the costume’s comedic value and as a nod to his dancing skills. Once all eyes were upon him, he proceeded to dance, of course, a little disco.
“I was the Unknown Disco Dancer at the fifth-grade talent show,” said Bergs, now a partner with Key City Ventures.
That was the context he brought with him to his latest public dance feat.
He and a host of other well-known Mankato-area residents will be participating in the inaugural Dancing With the Mankato Stars event, a fundraiser for the American Red Cross’ Mankato chapter.
If you’ve seen or heard of the show, you know how this works. Professional dancers team up with well-known non-dancers (on TV, they are celebrities; in Mankato, they are community movers and shakers) and the dancers try and transform the non-dancers from buffoons to Baryshnikovs ... or something like that.
Ultimately the organizers hope the community will turn out to see how the local version of the TV show will go over and pay $15 per person while they do.
Bergs has taken the challenge seriously. Just check out his Facebook page, where he’s posted a series of videos of him talking about his dancing talents, his training, his comparisons with professional athletes.
Truth be told, Bergs understands the power of getting the word out. He knows no one watching him that night will be expecting dance floor excellence.
“When you’ve got a balance between dancing and marketing, you go with your strengths,” he joked. “I’ve got a great partner who is extraordinarily patient.”