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2017 Dancing Stars of South Georgia

Georgia

dancing stars of south ga

Penelope Shoniker

Penelope Shoniker is the Marketing and Development Director at the Tift area YMCA.  She is also a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor and has worked in the fitness industry for the past 14 years.  She has been dancing since she was 3 years old and enjoys teaching youth and adult dance and fitness classes.  She is married to Richard Shoniker and they have four kids - Eli (12), Ava (11), Ean (9), and Dax (1).  A Florida native, she attended the University of West Florida on a full dance scholarship and graduated with a tBachelor of Science in Chemistry.

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Samantha Helton

Samantha Lee Helton is a dancer and choreographer from Leesburg, Georgia.  She received training from various studios in the Albany area, and graduated in 2009 from Valdosta State University with a degree in dance.  Samantha has taught dance for the past 6 years at several locations, including the Albany YMCA and A Time To...Inc.  Her choreographic experience includes works at Theatre Albany, Darton State College, and with the Dancing stars program where she has served as a choreographer for the past 4 events.  Last year Samantha performed for the first time at the event and took home the Judge's Choice mirror ball trophy along with partner Jason Carver. She is excited to be returning to perform again this year an to help once agin to raise awareness for this horrible disease.

 

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Aaron Mack

Aaron Mack was born June 26, 1994, along with his twin brother Jaaron, in Tifton, Georgia. His parents are Lasonya Cummings and Martis Mack! He is a Winter Park High school graduate and is currently studying surgical technology at Southern Regional Technical College. Aaron is a former drum major of the Tift County Blue Devil Brigade and currently serves as the head coach of the Prancing Goldens Girls majorette team in Tifton, Georgia. His passion for dance started about 2 years ago and he describes his dance team as a part of his family.

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Dwarttis Proctor

I am a native of southwest Georgia.  Although currently living in Stockbridge, GA.  I was born on September 27, 1979 in Albany, GA.  I graduated from Albany State University with a degree in Music Ed.  I currently work as a waiter and moonlight as a Zumba instructor in gyms and studios in the Atlanta area.  When I was contacted by this organization in regards to participating in this fundraiser, I was super excited to be a part of this team and event.  Having to go through and experience how Alzheimer's affected my grandmother before her passing, was definitely a key factor and motivator in making my contribution to this event a success.

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Seth Griner

Seth Griner is a 2016 graduate of Tift Co High School. From an early age Seth excelled in the musical arts. While in high school, Seth was the Section Leader of the 8th St. Singing Company. They consistently placed in the top 3 in multiple Southeastern competitions. This year Seth was the Visual advisor and assistant choreographer for One Voice, which is the Tift Co Middle School Show Choir.  He currently he is a life guard and at the YMCA. Seth's plans are to attend Belmont University in Nashville, TN where he will pursue a Music Education degree. He would like to one day be a High School Choir Director.  

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Becky Gunn

As the baby of the family, a little sister with two great big brothers, Bill and Mac, much of my time was spent following them around.  We grew up like "The Little Rascals" on TV, as did most of the kids in our neighborhood - just a few girls to play with, so I grew up usually playng rough and tumble with the boys.  We learned to water ski on skis our Daddy made, and we tried all the tricks we saw at ski shows. Our daddy was a great diver and gymnast, so we learned to dive at Tift Park Pool and to tumble in our living room and then at the YMCA.  We even put on a neighborhood "circus" once, swinging from our homemade trapeze.

Our Daddy was also a great dancer.  I learned to waltz standing on his toes when I was five.  In the mornings before school, Bill and I would dance in our living room. I  thought everyone did this!  Luckily I also took dance from Peggy Pritchett . It saved me!  Dancing was the most wonderful thing in my life growing up.

After a year at FSU I transferred to Mercer on a whim one weekend while I visited a friend there-the best thing I could have done.  I soon met my husband to be, Guy, who also loves to dance-we still do.  I think the Lord sent me to Mercer just to meet Guy.  We found out that Guy's grandfather, a doctor, had delivered my mother and her sisters!  They were from the same little town, Weston, Georgia.

Without much thought, I decided to be a teacher, and I have never regretted it.  I taught Latin at Mercer University for several years.  Then I became a first grade teacher which I loved until my own kids got older.  I moved up to middle school, then high school, teaching Civics and then Latin for many years in Macon.  It was wonderful!

Guy and I have two children, Webb (married t oThy) and Marti, and four grandchildren that we love dearly.  We like to time with them when we can.  Guy has retired from managing Fickling and Co. (real estate) and is selling again.  We love to travel whenever we can.  And we still love to dance!

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Eddie McCarty

Eddie McCarty is the Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Albany Advocacy Resource Center.  He is a former Historic Preservation Commissioner for Albany and Dougherty County and is a graduate of Leadership Albany.  He is the former director of the Albany Area Arts Council where he was recognized at the state level with a Senate Resolution honoring his years of leadership in the arts in Albany, GA.  

Eddie has been active in Community Theatre for over 40 years and has performed in way too many shows to begin listing.

Eddis is a member of Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church and sings in the Chancel Choir.

Eddie is originally from Camilla and attended Albany Junior College and the University of Georgia where he studied Theatre Performance.  He is also a graduate of Albany Technical College.

Today, Eddie, and his wife Marcy, work at Albany ARC as advocatges for people with disabilities and their families.

 

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Erica Tucker

I am from Tifton and graduated collegefrom Valdosta State University.  I'm a 7th grade ELA Teacher at Eighth Street Middle School.  I am the Assistant coach for the Tift County Gym Devils.  I took dance lessions from Carolyn Ellis School of Dance for 7 years and was in show choir in high school for 3 years.  I was a competition cheerleader for 6 years where I spent every day after school at practive or at the gym tumbling.  I'm excited about being in this year's Dancing Stars.

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Glenda Barfield

Glenda Barfield is a lifetime resident of the Thomasville area and was raised in the small town of Ochlocknee, GA.  She attended TCCHS and SWGTC.  She is a licensed Realtor with Rose City Realty Inc. in Thomasville, GA.  Prior to becoming a realtor, she was a licensed personal lines insurance manager for an agency in Tallahassee, FL for 12 years.  She enjoys weekends at the beach, cycling, and design.  She has 3 beautiful children and 9 sweet granchildren.  She is a member of Landmark's and is very involved in restoring the homes of yesteryear.  Also a member of TOSAC (Thomasville on Stage and Co.), she enjoys participating in local theatre.  The cause is dear to Glenda's heart as she has had close family members with Alzheimer's.

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 James Mann

James Man is an 18 year old dancer and choreographer from Tifton Georgia.  Since the age of 11 he has loved freestyling to music as a way of personal expression.  After several years of learning on his own, he began working with and learning from other dancers until he eventually learned enough to begin teaching dance.  He enjoys creating choreography by blending syles that would not typically fit together and utilizing genres in new and unexpected ways, a concept he looks forward to sharing at the Dancing Stars of South Georgia event.  Though he is young, he has been dancing with every opportunity that has been presented to him and is very excited to be able to use his knowledge to assist the Alzheimer's Association, a cause that resonates with him as he has seen first-hand the devastating effects that Alzheimer's can have on its victims.