Dancing with the Easter Seals StarsPublished on October 2, 2014

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  • Mary Anne Ivison

  • Derick Fage 


  • Shawn Simpson

  • Sarah Freemark

  • Liza Mrak

  • Jean-Luc Boissonneault

  • Shawn Dawson


  • Debbie Trenholm 

 
It's the fourth year for this glamorous event that has made a name for itself as an evening that balances fun, entertainment and charity with pizzazz. Celebrities that range from morning show hosts to business leaders and fitness gurus will compete for the honour of being the capital's best dancer for 2014. They get by with a little help from Fred Astaire Dance Studio. 

The real winners are the recipients of the proceeds from the evening, which supports Easter Seals Ontario's efforts to help provide mobility equipment to children with physical disabilities.

Past winners include Olympic figure skater Elizabeth Manley, CTV personalities Leanne Cusack and Lianne Laing. Past contestant Kurt Stoodley and Ottawa At Home editor-in-chief Mary Taggart are the hosts for the evening and provide fun-loving commentary throughout the night. Join the fun Friday, Oct. 17 at the Ottawa Convention Centre. Ticket info at easterseals.org

Meet the 2014 Stars

Derick Fage

Host and producer,

Daytime Ottawa 

What is your most embarrassing dancing memory? At a summer camp dance someone bumped into a girl on the dance floor. When she turned, I was the first person she saw and she kneed me in the family jewels. I crumpled to the floor in extreme pain and couldn't get up for about three minutes. Onlookers created a circle around me as I lay there in agony.

What is your favourite song to dance to? Lady Marmalade by Patti LaBelle.

What do you hope to gain from this experience? It may surprise some, but I'm hoping to gain confidence. I've never been comfortable with my body image due to a medical issue and I'm hoping this experience will help change that. 

What do you think gives you a leg up to win this competition? My energy, enthusiasm and the fact that I love to dance.

Sarah Freemark

Anchor/ reporter,

CTV Morning Live

What is your most embarrassing dancing memory? I competed in the Miss Renfrew pageant when I was 16 years old and my talent was Irish dancing.  I lost track of the stage space during my routine and backed into a high-rise bleacher and ended up on my butt.  

What is your favourite song to dance to? Everybody Dance Now by C+C Music Factory.

What do you hope to gain from this experience? I'm excited to learn about dance forms I've never tried, poke fun at my dance mentor and coach Jonathan in the hopes that he'll create a wickedly intense dance routine and to give my trainer from Free Form Fitness, Jean-Luc Boissonneault, a run for his money at the Dancing with the Easter Seals Stars trophy! 

What do you think gives you a leg up to win this competition? I'll try anything!

Debbie Trenholm

Sommelier and owner,

Savvy Company

What is your most embarrassing dancing memory? It was in ballet class … I was at the barre up en point practising various positions.  All five feet nine inches of me was up on my toes raising me another two or three inches. My ballet instructor Yvonne was spotting me and helping me raise my leg up while balancing on one leg.  She was only five foot two. She had her hands way above her head and was also on her tippy toes trying to hold my leg up.  Not a pretty, or elegant ballerina picture.  She lost her balance and I lost mine. We tumbled.  My end of pointe shoe hit her nose with a thud and broke it.   

What is your favourite song to dance to? Red Red Wine by Bob Marley

What do you hope to gain from this experience? If I can learn a new dance step or two while bringing a smile to a child's face …. that is what being part of this fun fundraiser is all about. 

What do you think gives you a leg up to win this competition? Did I mention that I love to twirl?  Tell the other dancers to watch out … I will be spinning circles around them on the dance floor!

Liza Mrak

Business development manager, Mark Motors

of Ottawa

What is your most embarrassing dancing memory? Being five foot five, on a gymnastics team where the average height was four foot five and then having to do a dance routine to help promote the team … can I say "elephant in the room?"

What is your favourite song to dance to? Home for a Rest, by Great Big Sea.   

What do you hope to gain from this experience? I hope that by putting myself in a somewhat embarrassing situation where, for a brief moment I believe that I can dance like a superstar, I will make a difference and help raise money for Easter Seals. I also hope that I can influence others who will see how easy it is to do the same and to step forward with a small gesture.     

What do you think gives you a leg up to win this competition? Jazz hands, fast feet and a bedazzler.   ?

Jean-Luc Boissonneault

Co-founder and CEO,

Free Form Fitness

What is your most embarrassing dancing memory? Every time I dance I'm embarrassed!

What is your favourite song to dance to? Shout! by The Isley Brothers.

What do you hope to gain from this experience? To raise as much money for Easter Seals as I can and becoming a little less embarrassed on the dance floor would be nice. 

What do you think gives you a leg up to win this competition? The fun chemistry I have with my partner Samantha, the creative routine she put together and I've been working on my fitness. 

Shawn Dawson

Entrepreneur, philanthropist, owner, Fat Boys Southern Smokehouse

What is your most embarrassing dancing memory? Having to dance to

Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys in front of an ALL female audience. 

What is your favourite song to dance to? It used to be Mammas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys.

What do you hope to gain from this experience? A contract with Dancing With The Stars, or a least a few new moves. 

What do you think gives you a leg up to win this competition? Since my leg has been up all summer due to a motorcycle accident, I am just excited to prepare for this charitable event with all these great people.

Shawn Simpson

TV/radio personality,

TSN/CTV

What is your most embarrassing dancing memory?Probably dancing in Cancun. I was 20, and it was an end of hockey season trip. Thought getting up on the speakers would be cool. It collapsed, as did I! 

What is your favourite song to dance to? Mambo

No. 5 by Lou Bega.  

What do you hope to gain from this experience? Learn how to dance. Come out of my cool comfort zone. Meet great people for a great cause. 

What do you think gives you a leg up to win this competition? I'm a competitor but super nervous. My partner is top shelf!

Mary Anne Ivison

Co-host, Country 101.1

What is your most embarrassing dancing memory? On a weekly basis I'm caught by fellow drivers dancing and singing my face off to whatever's on the radio. 

What is your favourite song to dance to?Luke Bryan's Country Girl (Shake it For Me). 

What do you hope to gain from this experience?I hope to gain some sweet dance skills, and to raise lots of moolah for the kids!

What do you think gives you a leg up to win this competition? I can kick pretty high, so that will literally give me the "leg up."




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