Watkins, Arnold added hip hop to salsa dance for DWTSF

The News Journal
Brenda Harrison, Editor
Published March 24, 2015

Celebrity dancer Robert Watkins and professional dancer Drew Arnold have infused their salsa dance with a little hip hop for Dancing With The Stars of Florence on Tuesday, March 31. They'll be fast-stepping to "Caught Up," by Usher. Watkins is no stranger to the stage. He has performed in talent shows and events during his college years and is excited to participate in Dancing With The Stars of Florence. After seeing the dance competition last year, Robert said he knew "this is something I really want to do."

Watkins is Formation Manufacturing Area Manager at Johnson Controls. He is married to Teara and step-father to Brendon Tye. His hobbies are exercise and fitness. Drew has been dancing and competing in jazz, tap, and hip hop since the fifth grade. She is a fourth-grade teacher at McLaurin Elementary where she shares her love of dance at McLaurin in her newly formed dance club. She also is a dancer for the Pee Dee Vipers and a Zumba instructor at the Florence Family YMCA. Drew has high praises for her dance partner. "He is confident and doing very well. I was surprised at how fast he caught on," Drew commented, adding, "It's a really cool routine."

Completing this year's line up of dancers are Ashley Nance and Desiree Stokes; Fields Norwood and Tiffany Welsh; Dr. Deepak Chowdhary and Brandi Williamson; Will King and Amanda Smith; Dr. Susan Ninichuck and Jovan Kindred; Michael Miller and Cheyanne Beck; Chris Warner and Meggie Baker; Michele Pridgen and Jacob Coward; Cedrick Kennedy and Shandi Cox; Rick Ryan and Georgie Kelley; and Stephen Wade and Kayce Smith. A panel of judges will name one couple "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. The Social Stars trophy, a new addition this year, will be awarded to the couple receiving the most online votes. Fans may vote online for Drew Arnold and Robert Watkins 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.

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