The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

February 10, 2013

Fundraiser relies on dancers, community movers and shakers



His partner, for the record, is Emma Glasser, a Minnesota State University student and instructor at Dance Express. He gives Glasser a lot of credit for making him a better dancer.

That sentiment was echoed by John Kind, CEO of the Mankato YMCA.

“What’s hard for me is seeing how effortless and beautiful she makes it look,” Kind said of his partner, Meagan Gerber. “She’s got so much more style than I do. I can get the steps, but she’s got the flair, the facial expressions, all those other things.”

Kind said he’s not exactly new to working on the stage.While he was a student at MSU, he appeared in 12 stage shows, some of which included singing and dancing.

“But that was a long time ago,” he said. “That was 35 or 40 years ago.”

He said he’d considered becoming a theater major, but thought better of it and majored in accounting instead.

More recently, Kind has also participated in the Ellis Street Singers and Merely Players productions.

“I’m pretty excited about it,” he said about the new dancing competition. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

Unlike the television show, the Mankato event will be a one-nighter — none of this dragging it out for weeks and weeding people out. There will be judges, and each team will perform one dance.

The dance styles will be varied. Organizers didn’t want to have all the couples doing a jazz or swing dance. Kind and his partner are doing a Broadway-style dance.

Paul Finocchiaro, a dance instructor at MSU, will be dancing a jive style with Michelle Schooff, owner of the Red Sky Lounge, and a quick step with Sarah Person, owner of Exclusively Diamonds.

Finocchiaro said he’s had a lot of fun so far.

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