Dancing with the Celebrities Names 2022 Champions

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On Wednesday night, eight Naperville notables showed off their moves at the 2022 Dancing with the Celebrities competition. Each pairing brought the energy at Mesón Sabika for the 12th year of this event, but only two teams took home the top prizes.

Closing the Deal

Bridget Salela, agent at The Ville – Coldwell Banker Realty, and her partner from NP Dance, Norbert Czerski, took home the Judge’s Choice trophy for their up-tempo routine set to “Get Right” by Jennifer Lopez. Salela was glad her daughter who dances at Xtreme Dance Center approved of her performance. “She loved it,” said Salela. “She actually came up to me afterwards and was like, ‘You brought the energy, you were awesome!’ So it means everything.”

Hips Don’t Lie

Founder and Chief Business Psychologist of Legacy Blueprint LLC. Dr. Laticia Thompson (Dr. Tish) and her partner James Dutton, owner of Arthur Murray Dance Centers, won the Audience’s Choice trophy for their high-energy performance set to “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira. “It feels amazing, I’ll probably get a little bit of sleep tonight,” said Thompson. “But it’s been amazing to be part of such a great fundraiser for the Career & Networking Center. And I have a little bit of a competitive spirit, so this has been awesome.”

Crazy Costumes

Along with the electrifying dance moves, each group got creative with their costumes for the event. Attorney at Law Michael Calabrese dressed up as Jim Carrey’s character from the 1994 film “The Mask” for his routine with Jessica Dutton from Arthur Murray. And the leader of the Dan Firks Team at Compass Real Estate, agent Dan Firks, and his partner from Arthur Murray, Bonnie Coleman wore blue and pink outfits in homage to the title characters from the 2016 film ”Trolls.”

For a Great Cause

All the work put into costumes and performances was well worth it, as the event serves as a fundraiser for the Career & Networking Center. The CNC uses the money raised to help those who are unemployed or underemployed find fulfilling jobs. “I’ve been here three years in a row and I absolutely love it,” said Salela. “It is such a great foundation, and I think it’s so important for our community to have this foundation. So it was wonderful to be able to be one of the dancers this year, and kind of make a fool of myself and raise money. So that’s what it’s all about.”

Reporting for Naperville News 17, I’m Will Payne.