Dancing With the Stars of Florence: Meet Celebrity Steve Wade

Melissa Rollins
Morning News
Published March 26, 2015

What is your previous dance experience?

I changed high schools when I was a sophomore. I still very clearly remember going to my new high school and going to a group dance and literally getting laughed out of the gym. I have taken a little bit of swing, just to try to get familiar, but this is way outside of my comfort zone. I was in band; that is the extent of my performance experience.

Do you have a go-to move, at wedding, parties, etc.?

My go-to move at a wedding would be guarding the punch bowl and clinging to the back door. It is just not my thing.

How was the first practice? Was it easier or harder than you expected?

The first practice was about what I expected. Bernadine (Kelley) is just so good. She asked some questions and was pretty good at tailoring the dance to what our experience levels were. I don’t believe anybody got put in over their heads.

Best piece of advice your partner has given you so far?

My partner, Kayce Smith, teaches dance in Cheraw for the studio (Kelley’s Fine Arts) so she has been very patient. She’s let me ask questions. We got the initial footwork down pretty quickly and she has been very good helping me with some of the details, like working with my hands, which will make the dance a lot better. As we’re practicing, if I’m not doing something, she’ll nudge me.

Why were you interested in taking part in Dancing with the Stars of Florence?

I don’t think anybody says ‘no’ to Debbie (Hyler, executive director of The School Foundation); if anyone has, I’d like to meet them. Really, we are doing this for the kids. If the kids weren’t involved in this, I don’t think most of us would be doing this; I wouldn’t be doing this. When you see the passion behind what they do at The School Foundation and you realize what they do, that’s why you do it. If I can make a fool of myself on stage and raise a couple of extra bucks, then oh well.

How does it feel to be the ‘celebrity’ in your pairing?

I laugh at that. Kayce will tease me about it every once in a while. If we have a decision to make, and the costumes were one of them, she’ll just say ‘You’re the star, this is on you.’ During introductions, we have a two 8-count intro and we haven’t touched that yet. I asked her what we were going to do and she said ‘That’s on you, you have to figure that one out,’ so I have to choreograph that.

What is your job title and what are your day-to-day responsibilities?

I am the publisher for the Morning News. Day-to-day responsibilities for me are primarily administration. We are fortunate to run a media organization that covers the Pee Dee. We think we do a good job of covering local news and local sports. My job is handling the business side of that.

Stephen Wade and his partner Kayce Smith are dancing a jive to “Blame it on the Boogie.”

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