Traverse City Events: Let the dancing begin!

SwingShift and the Stars will take the stage for the fourth year in a row at the City Opera House in Traverse City on September 16. Modeled after the popular reality series "Dancing with the Stars," this entertaining competition once again brings together the local community with area nonprofits, putting the fun back in fundraising.

Six local celebrities will pair up with dance professionals for the chance to compete in this high-energy dance-off while raising money for a local charity of choice. For a minimum $5 donation, audience members can vote for their favorite dance couple in a series of four competitions, with proceeds benefiting 18 local charities. Audience votes will be combined with judge’s scores from all four competitions, culminating in the Grand Finale Charity Celebration and Award Ceremony on December 16, 2011.

Event founder Judy Harrison, lead singer of the band SwingShift, has succeeded in her goal of re-invigorating the nonprofit fundraising scene in our local community, and turned this high-energy dance competition into a high-earning charity of its own, with donations from 2010 reaching over $153,000. Be a part of the magic and watch as your favorite team dances the night away!

Local Celebrity/Dance Professional Teams and their Charities
Carol Vernam and Mel Kiogima: Child and Family Services of Northwestern Michigan
Kathy Lauterbach and Rich Budek: Grand Traverse Conservation District
John Cocoran and Maria West: Host Homes for Homeless Youth
Melissa Smith and Rodney Woodring: March of Dimes
Dr. Jeff Szczepanski and Lisa Brown: The Ryan Dobry Diabetes CharityMax Dingeman and Jennifer Howard: VSA Arts of Michigan- Grand Traverse Area

Owner of The Dance Center, Korin Drilling
Local charity supporter and self-proclaimed "dangerous student dancer," Victor Dinsmoore
Co-owner of Dance Arts Academy, Susan BuckPlus, a surprise guest judge!

Competition Schedule
September 16: 1st Competition
October 21: 2nd Competition
November 18: 3rd CompetitionDecember 16: Final Competition and Grand Finale Charity Celebration/Award Ceremony

All events are held at the City Opera House in downtown Traverse City. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and shows begin at 7:15 p.m. Tickets start at $20. For more information/tickets, visit

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