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2017 Frederick Memory Ball



Meet our dance professionals who provide free lessons to our Dancing Stars to create entertaining and memorable performances for Memory Ball night.

Alice Hajjar

Alice Hajjar
Paul and Melissa Watson 2017

Paul & Melissa
David Wolff & Jody White

David Wolff &
Jody White

Alice Hajjar - The 2017 Alzheimer's Gala will mark Alice's 5th year as a volunteer instructor for this event.  She began ballroom dancing in 1999 and started her career as a dance instructor in 2002.  She is currently a dance instructor at Dancing Made Easy located in Westminster, MD.  In the past, she has taught at other dance studios and from 2005-2008 ran a successful dance business on the Eastern shore.  She taught at Dancing Made Easy from 2005-2007 and, after a 1-year hiatus, returned in 2008.  She teaches American and International styles of dance as well as country and social dances.

Paul & Melissa Watson - Paul and Melissa are owners of Dancing with Magick Studio in Frederick; this is their fifth year providing dance instruction for the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Ball.  Paul and Melissa are previous competitors in the Professional American Rhythm Style Latin Division of ballroom dancing, where they competed in many competitions across the country.  Paul and Melissa can be contacted through email.

David Wolff - David has been a ballroom dancer since 2001 and has enjoyed sharing his experience with others.  He has supported the Alzheimer's Association for the past eight years, primarily as an instructor for the dancing stars.  In addition, he teaches with his partner, Jody White, in Walkersville for the Frederick Ballroom Dance Club and at Dance Unlimited in Frederick.  David primarily teaches American Style Social Dancing.

Jody White - Jody has been teaching dance for two decades, minus the time she took off to have her five beautiful children. She loves working with students of all ages, although there is a special place in her heart for the residents of the Alzheimer's community at Country Meadows, where she and her family host a dance class every Monday. This is Jody's fifth year volunteering for the Memory Ball, an experience she thoroughly enjoys.



On event night, the "Dancing Stars" will perform before a panel of judges. The dancers will vie to win the Judge's Choice Trophies for the best performance. The "You're Our Star" Trophy will be awarded to the couple raising the most money for the Alzheimer's Association.

Mark Acereza

Mark Acerenza
Bill Adkins

Bill Adkins
Nancy Adkins

Nancy Adkins
Tom Whalen

Tom Whalen

Mark Acerenza - Mark and his wife Debra have lived in Frederick, MD. for 12 years. Last year they were honored to participate in this great event and were the recipients of the Memory Ball trophy for Best Hustle and Best Overall Dance Performance.  Mark's passion for the arts over the years includes singing in choirs, musical theatre, cruise ships and a USO Tour in the Mediterranean.  He currently is on the Board of Directors for the "Frederick Children's Chorus".  His mother, Caroline Acerenza succumbed to Alzheimer's in 2010 and he is committed in helping find a cure.

Bill Adkins- Bill has lived in Frederick for almost five decades and met his wife, Nancy, when he was 13 years old on the same street where they now live.  He and his wife have been taking lessons at Ballroom Dance in Frederick for over 20 years and Bill has been teaching ballroom classes at that studio for over 10 years.  His favorite classes to teach are the beginner levels because he really loves to show non-dancers how much fun dance can be.

Nancy Adkins - Nancy is a native of Frederick and began her love of dancing at Bettie Jane's Dance Studio at a very early age with tap, jazz and ballet. In adult life she took hustle lessons with Tom Waters. Her husband of 40 years, Bill, gave her one month of ballroom dance lessons with Denise Mayer at Ballroom Dance in Frederick as a Christmas gift over 20 years ago. It was the gift that kept on giving as these dance classes have continued over the years. Their children, Bill and Mike, have also taken lessons with Denise. Nancy has taught beginner levels and assisted in multiple class levels at the studio throughout the years.   

Tom Whalen - Tom was born and raised in Louisville KY. He attended Fairdale High and Morehead St. University where he majored in speech/theatre and radio/television. After college Tom taught theatre and English at Valley High School in Louisville for a year before moving to New York City for 15 years.  He then moved to Frederick in 1992 and has been in radio ever since. His son Samuel Martin is his pride and joy! He loves being a part of the Frederick community and being able to give back through events like the Memory Ball.