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Dusting off My Dancing Shoes

Let’s get one thing straight – I am not a dancer.


When I got the call in April from Safe Haven Associate Director Kim Williams asking if I would be one of the 2014 “stars” for the 4th Annual Dancing with the Statesboro Stars competition benefitting Safe Haven of Statesboro, I immediately said, “Yes!” Kim paused and asked, “Really!? You don’t need some time to think about it? Maybe talk to your husband?” No, I assured her, he will be fine with it.


After I hung up with Kim, I immediately called my husband to tell him the good news. “Oh no,” he laughed, “You need to call her back and drop out immediately,” he said. While I am married to one of the most supportive men in the world who appreciates and supports all of my dreams and ambitions, he also knows me well and is sometimes the more realistic half of the Daly family. He has seen me dance and knows my utter lack of talent. When great music comes on, especially 80’s music, I think I am Jennifer Beals in Flashdance or Sarah Jessica Parker in Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. My most famous dance moves to date are the Churnin’ Butter, Push it Back, MC Hammer and the Running Man. When I attend Zumba classes at the gym, the dance moves I feel are unfortunately not the same moves reflected back to me in the mirror. Oh well, I just keep on moving.

I love dancing but just as I have learned so often in my life, just because you love something doesn’t necessarily mean you will be good at it. Despite my lack of talent, I have thoroughly enjoyed learning from my pro dance partner Bryan Realiza. As coach of the Georgia Southern University dance team Southern Explosion, Bryan is a patient and nurturing teacher. He brings unique choreography to the routine while challenging me to dig deep and try new moves. He even has me doing back flips! Who would have thought at 35-years-old I would be learning gymnastics tricks?!? I guess this solidifies my status as a cool mom.

The highlight of my time with Dancing with the Statesboro Stars has been touring their facility and learning more about their efforts within our community. Safe Haven is a program of Citizens Against Violence, Inc., a nonprofit, 501c(3) corporation. It is the emergency safe house for adult and child victims of domestic violence serving Bulloch, Candler, Effingham, Jenkins, Screven, and Washington counties. From access to a 24-hour crisis line and an immediate, safe, emergency shelter to relocation services, Safe Haven focuses on personal progress towards independence for their clients. Domestic violence affects many lives in our area and it is a blessing to have this refuge that victims can flee to, heal, and get their lives back on track.

Besides being one of the most attended and highly anticipated events of the year, all proceeds from Dancing with the Statesboro Stars go to help fund Safe Haven’s yearly efforts. This year’s show will be held on October 2nd at 7:00 p.m. at Georgia Southern’s Performing Arts Center. Tickets will go on sale September 15th at the Performing Arts Center and are $25 per person.

While I can’t reveal all of our performance secrets, I can tell you that I am fulfilling a lifelong dream and bucket list item by finally being able to dance my heart out on stage to an 80’s rock song. While it may not be pretty, know that I am thoroughly enjoying myself both dancing and helping out a great cause.


Eat your heart out Rick Springfield.