Dancers take Stanly on a voyage around the world at Stanly County Dancing With The Stars 2023

Published 9:44 am Monday, September 11, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The 11th Annual Stanly County Dancing With The Stars event saw nine dancing pairs take attendees on a multiple destination flight to exotic locales.

With the theme of “Come Fly With Me” to the strains of Frank Sinatra, the dancers opened with an aviation-themed number together.

The show raised $133,347 for the Butterfly House, up from last year’s total of $130,868.

Amy Yow, director of Butterfly House, said the event continues to grow by keeping the mission of the Butterfly House at the forefront.

She noted the testimony of Madison Atkins, who spoke at the beginning of the event about how Butterfly House helped her on her journey of being a survivor of sexual assault.

“Just this week, talking with a lot of the dancers, they have had personal experiences with kids coming through the Butterfly House. People are out here doing it for the kids, to promote awareness and to make sure we can continue to provide services for these kids,” Yow said.

Bollywood style ruled the judges’ decision as Team Lowry, the married couple of Shayla and Tyler Lowery, took home the Judges’ Trophy for first place.

When asked about the difficulty of the dance and if that helped in the end, Shayla Lowry, who owns Flow Yoga Studio in Locust, said it could have had a little bit to do with it.

“But there are a lot more aspects that you add into it, like with the story that you tell and the emotions that you show,” Shayla Lowery said.

Dancing last, Tyler Lowery said, meant the pair had to wait backstage for a while.

“We were backstage hopping around all the time, trying to keep our energy going the whole time,” Tyler said.

First runners-up from the judges  went to Kelly Earley and Mike Hatley for their freestyle routine to a combination of Men At Work’s “Down Under” and Elton John’s “Crocodile Rock” as Team Koala-fied.

Second runners-up from the judges went to the Team Juneberry, Savanna and Kellen Rankin, for their freestyle dance to “Barcelona” by Ed Sheeran.

The People’s Choice Award, given to the couples who received the most votes and raised the most funds, went to Team Huneycutt (Rebecca Huneycutt and Travis Price). The pair danced a freestyle routine to David Bowie and Mick Jagger’s version of “Dancin’ In The Street.”

“The big thing when it comes to fundraising is connections,” Huneycutt said.

The pair raised money with events including a low country boil, yoga in the park and a 50-50 raffle at a concert by Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame members Too Much Sylvia.

“People in Stanly County are so willing to give,” Huneycutt said, noting one local business owner had not been asked by anyone to donate to the event. “People look to donate to the Butterfly House because it changes lives within the community.”

Huneycutt, a certified nurse midwife who worked as a medical examiner for the Butterfly House, said the award was more than just an award.

“It’s all the children’s faces that I have treated and taken care of. Through this, they have a future and a hope.”

First runners-up went to Team Jordan (Candice Jordan and Mitchell Whitesell), who danced a tango to a mashup of “Toxic” by Britney Spears and “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis.

Second place runners-up went to Christy Tietgens and Joshua Morton, who performed their jazz number to Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel.”

Jarrod and Susan Dennis could not compete in the event due to Jarrod suffering a calf muscle tear in his left leg in practice last week, organizers said.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

email author More by Charles