Warner-Baker dance team rehearsing samba routine
Brenda Harrison, Editor
The News Journal
Chris Warner and Meggie Baker are rehearsing a lively samba routine for their presentation at Dancing With the Stars of Florence. They will be quick-stepping to the music of Bruno Mars' "Treasure." The pair are practicing weekly at the KFA dance studio perfecting some spins and dips for the March 31 competition to be held at the SiMT Building. Chris is a sales representative for St. Jude Medical. He grew up in Aiken where he attended Cotillion classes during seventh through tenth grades. As for dancing, that's the extent of his experience, he says.
However, nine year-old daughter Ella, a ballet dancer in training, is helping him practice at home. He and wife Heather also have a six-year-old son, Gray. Meggie began dance training at an early age and today she serves as a ballet mistress with the S.C. Dance Theatre. An attorney, she is Director of Corporate Compliance and Risk Management for HopeHealth Inc. And, she is a cast member for the Florence Little Theatre's upcoming production of "Noises Off," rehearsing four times a week for that play.
Both Chris and Meggie say they are having a good time rehearsing for a good cause. "This is such a great event," said Chris. "It raises a lot of money and it all stays here." He added that his children are in the public school system. The School Foundation will host its 5th Annual Dancing With The Stars of Florence fund-raising event on the evening of March 31. Over $480,000 has been raised from this event in the last four years.
Completing this year's line up of dancers are Robert Watkins and Drew Arnold; Michele Pridgen and Jacob Coward; Ashley Nance and Desiree Stokes; Fields Norwood and Tiffany Welsh; Dr. Deepak Chowdhary and Brandi Williamson; Steve Wade and Kayce Smith; Michael Miller and Cheyanne Beck; Will King and Amanda Smith; Dr. Susan Ninichuck and Jovan Kindred; Cedric Kennedy and Shandi Cox; Rick Ryan and Georgeanna Kelley.
A panel of judges will select one couple as "Technical Skills Winner" based on the contestants' overall skills. A couple will also be chosen as "Most Entertaining" by the judges. The "People's Choice" mirror ball trophies will be awarded to the three couples raising the most votes. A new edition this year, The Social Stars trophy, will be awarded to the couple receiving the most online votes. Fans may vote online for Chris Warner or Meggie Baker, or other couples, at www.FlorenceDancingWithTheStars.com for $10 per vote. You can follow the dancers' progress on Facebook at Dancing With The Stars of Florence. The event is sold out, but there is a waiting list. To learn more about The School Foundation, visit their website at www.theschoolfoundation.org.