Dancing with the Celebrities 2022 Preview

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Eight Naperville notables will put their dancing chops to the test at this year’s Dancing with the Celebrities. The Career and Networking Center is hosting its annual fundraiser this week.

Blueprint for the Perfect Routine

Dr. Laticia Thompson, (Dr. Tish) Founder and Chief Business Psychologist of Legacy Blueprint LLC. has always enjoyed dancing. She’s glad her partner, James Dutton, owner of Arthur Murray Dance Centers, can help take her skills to another level. “I love to dance,” said Thompson. “But nothing formal, I’ve never taken a formal dance class. Typically my background in dance is just kicking it in my living room, acting a fool, and just having a good time. So this is the first time that James has provided some level of structure to my dancing madness.” 

License to Dance

Naperville Police Chief Jason Arres says he’s more familiar with the gridiron than the dance floor. However Arres’ partner from NP Dance, Taylor Lovestead, has helped him put together a routine “full of different ideas.” “I grew up as an average athlete,” said Arres. “You put me on the field, I can hold my own. You put me on the dance floor? I am so out of my comfort zone. So (Taylor) had to take someone who has nothing and turn it into just a little something, and she’s done a great job. 

House Music Experts

Bridget Salela, agent from The Ville – Coldwell Banker Realty, and her partner from NP Dance Norbert Czerski are bringing the energy with costumes, canes and an up-tempo routine. Salela is excited for a certain family member to see her routine come September 21. “I am a mom of a dancer,” said Salela. “My daughter dances for Xtreme (Dance Center) and I’ve been watching her compete for the last three or four years now. So I’m just excited to make her watch me compete.”

The leader of the Dan Firks Team at Compass Real Estate agent Dan Firks and his partner from Arthur Murray, Bonnie Coleman, kept their cards close to the vests when speaking about their upcoming performance. But those attending Wednesday’s event will be treated to wacky costumes and a catchy song when these two take the floor. “I’ve always loved to dance, it’s always been a passion of mine,” said Firks. “I never became a professional dancer by any means, but I’m actually thinking of joining the studio and becoming a regular student here.”

A Blast from the Past

Patti Minglin, Founder and CEO of Go Girl Communications and her partner from NP Dance, Nicolas Rodriguez, have a dance which will take viewers back in time. The pairing found inspiration for their routine from the 1985 film “Perfect”, starring John Travolta. “It’s not going to be your average Dancing with the Stars costume,” said Minglin. “We’re really living into our theme, so again, the movie Perfect can give you some clues.”

Director of Operations for Good Therapy Counseling Amanda Kunzer and her partner from Arthur Murray, Rees McCloskey also reference the 80s in their routine. The two are breaking it down to the main theme from the 1984 movie “Footloose” with Kevin Bacon. “(We’re excited to) make a fool of ourselves a little bit and have some fun,” said Kunzer. “We’re all about reliving the 80s, it was a great decade.”

Plead Guilty to Groovin’

Attorney at Law Michael Calabrese and his partner from Arthur Murray, Jessica Dutton, have created a routine packed full of fun surprises. Calabrese grew up dancing, and has loved the process of creating a dance and learning from Dutton. “As a kid, I had a very overprotective mother who did not allow me to play sports,” said Calabrese. “But I was allowed to dance. I learned polka, foxtrot, waltz, German schottische, jitterbug, swing and square dancing. We performed at bank grand openings and my claim to fame is I opened a Talman Savings & Loan with Stan Mikita from the Blackhawks.”

VP Takes Center Stage

Adrian Aldrich, Vice President for Institutional Advancement at North Central College and NP Dance’s Marta Ejsmont are excited for their routine which “involves a few different dance styles.” Though he’s admittedly an inexperienced dancer, Aldrich has had a blast learning all sorts of new moves with Marta. “Marta’s had to put up with two left feet and constantly going in circles, so we’ve had a little bit of fun getting ready,” said Aldrich. “Really this is the first time I’ve ever done anything like this. But this is such a great opportunity and great cause here in Naperville and something I’m really proud to be a part of.”

Dancing For A Cause

Each pairing may be moving and grooving to a different tune during their performance, but they’re all raising the roof for the same cause. The Career and Networking Center provides resources for those who are unemployed or underemployed, helping them get back to work and find fulfilling jobs.

The competition takes place Wednesday, September 21 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Meson Sabika. Tickets are available for purchase on the Career and Networking Center website.

Naperville News 17’s Will Payne reports.

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