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2021 Dancing Stars of Columbus

Georgia

 

 

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PRO Mary Jane Bowden and STAR Sally Key Bowden

Mary Jane Bowden, originally from Columbus, Georgia is the daughter of Fred and Julie Mitchell, sister of Rad Mitchell. She graduated with a BA in Dance and a minor in Public Relations from The University of Alabama in 2013. Mary Jane then moved to New York City where she participated in Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester program on scholarship. While in New York she performed on TV shows such as “The View,” “The Dr. Oz Show,” and “Good Morning America.” Mary Jane had the opportunity to perform the work of many prestigious choreographers at places such as Lincoln Center, The Actors Home, and as a featured dancer in “A Chocolate Avenue Christmas” in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 

Mary Jane now lives in Phenix City with her Husband, Brady Bowden and their two sweet puppies! She works as a STOTT Pilates instructor at Quest Pilates Studio as well as teaches at the wonderful Academy Dance Center! She is honored to be performing an art style that has made her who she is, for such a great cause. Raising not only money, but also awareness for this terrible disease is so incredibly important. The astounding statistics of Alzheimer’s way heavy on Mary Jane’s heart, and she is grateful to help in any way she can!

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 PRO Katie Jo Lewis and STAR Evan Sussenbach

Katie Jo Lewis was born in Columbus, Georgia and raised in Phenix City, Alabama. She is a class of '96 graduate of Central High School and a 2001 graduate from the UAB Dental Hygiene Program. She is currently a dental hygienist for the long standing practice of local Phenix City favorite Dr. Rusty Floyd and his wonderful associate Dr. Slade Pirtle who are always accepting new patients!
Katie Jo has over twenty years of professional dance training particularly from local dance guru Melissa Williams. She grew up competing on several award winning dance teams and has always kept dance in her life. She was an owner of Capella's Dance Studio from 2015-2017, and that is when she was introduced to a major part of her life's purpose through ministry dance. Purpose and passion combined with God given talent are her platform to help spread the gospel and love of Jesus Christ. She is an active member and shareholder of Addereth Christian Center with Pastor Donnie and Marie Clark.

Katie Jo is blessed to have two smart and beautiful children whom are nine years apart and always keep her on her toes. Aside from raising her children, Katie Jo is also a dance instructor for the ultra creative Janda Cearley at her award-winning studio Company C Academy of Dance. In addition, she is now the head dance team coach of Columbus's very own multi-championship winning indoor football team the Columbus Lions. Being back as head coach after years on the field as both a team member and assistant coach means a lot to her, and she looks forward to an awesome upcoming season!

Although Katie Jo isn't directly affected by Alzheimer's Disease, she is, however, indirectly affected by a close family friend and several patients she treats. She is excited and honored to be back for a second time with Dancing Stars and looks forward to reuniting with so many accomplished dancers for such an amazing event!

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PRO J.J. Harrison and STAR Claire Berry

Jevon “J.J.” Harrison lived in Dallas, TX, until the age of 6 and then moved to Columbus, GA where he has lived ever since. He is a busy teen who is now at Columbus State University where he is a full-time student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Dance. He is hoping to take this degree and attend a master’s program in Theology and work full time, vocationally at a church that God calls him to! In the now, he works at St. Luke Church where he is the Middle School intern, leads worship at The Nine, College House Ministries, and helps lead the Crosswalk (middle school ministry) worship band. J.J. began dancing at Passion Works Dance Academy only about 4 years ago and was blessed to become a teacher for the studio from the summer of 2018 to the spring of 2019, as well.

This is J.J.’s second time participating in the Dancing Stars event, now the reigning champ, and he is extremely stoked to be able to participate again. He has a heart for service and fundraising, and he ultimately wants to help the Alzheimer Association’s cause to be broadened and strengthened! He believes God’s hand is on the Alzheimer’s Association, and loves that he can help this cause. J.J. believes God ordained his participation and can’t wait to see how the Alzheimer’s Association benefits, as well anyone who is affected by the disease. He has a couple  of family friends who battle Alzheimer’s and is dancing in honor of them specifically, but truly all that are affected. Can he and his new partner make it two years in a row?! We’ll find out!!

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PRO Joshua Edens and STAR Jenny Swift and STAR Margot Schley 

A native of Ft. Benning, GA, Joshua is a graduate from Columbus State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a graduate from Columbia Southern University with a Master’s in Occupational Safety and Health. He currently is the OSHA Compliance Specialist for Aflac. Joshua’s dance career began 11 years ago at Company C, Academy of Dance in Columbus, Georgia. As a member of the competitive team, 

Joshua has been awarded numerous Top Overall placements, special judge’s recognitions, first place rankings at several regional and national dance competitions and also received the title of “2014 Mr. StarQuest.” Not only does he continue to train in various styles of dance including hip-hop, contemporary, ballet, tap and jazz, but he also serves as an Instructor and Operations Manager for Company C, Academy of Dance. Joshua has had the opportunity to participate in the Miss Georgia pageant as a featured dancer for five years, has been a PRO dancer for the Alzheimer’s Associations Dancing Stars of Columbus for the past 4 years, has choreographed and coached for multiple high school dance teams, cheerleading teams and coaches for multiple pageant contestants in the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen system. Joshua is returning as one of the PROS for the fifth year and is ready to make this year even better than last year.

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PRO Roseann Torbert and STAR Evan Collier Watson

Roseann is a Buena Vista, Ga native whose passion for dance began at a very young age. She was self-taught hip hop and displayed her talent regularly at local events around her town. She eventually began training in ballet, tap, jazz, and clogging at Carol Eason Dancing School during her middle school years. She displayed her full passion and creativity in high school as a member of the dance line, where she was choreographer and co-captain. In college as a member of Delta Sigma Theta she continued her passion as her chapter's Step Master. After graduation she moved to Tampa and began training again, focusing her skills in ballet, jazz, and hip hop.  

She began instructing jazz and hip hop for AAYA where she taught until she returned home to Georgia. Roseann now resides in Phenix City, AL with her husband and three children. She teaches hip hop at Company C Academy of Dance where she has choreographed for Columbus State University’s Cougar Heat, various dance camps, and has led several competitive routines to high ranking overall performances in competition. This is Roseann’s second year participating in Dancing with the Stars.  

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PRO Sarah Stark and STAR Torrey Wiley

Sarah Stark , a native of Columbus, having danced 14 years at Patty Taylor Academy of Fine Arts where she was a member of the dance company and competition team. She attended Auburn University, completing a B.S. in Exercise Science and Kinesiology with a minor in Nutrition. While in college she enjoyed her time dancing at basketball games as well as teaching at Nix Dance Studio. It was there where she found what joy it was teaching ages 3-adult this wonderful art.

After college she moved to New York City to combine both her passion for dance and medicine. Afterwards, she accompanied her new husband to Fayetteville, North Carolina where she found her new dance home at The Dance Connection. She taught all ages and styles as well as choreographed for their competition teams. While in North Carolina she also took on the role as the Dance Team Coach and Choreographer for their NIFL team. As well as performed for both nearby NIFL and SPHL teams.

In 2008 she moved back to her hometown Columbus when her husband received orders for Ft. Benning. Upon returning home she decided to hang up her dancing shoes and began working in Primary Care and Sports Medicine. It is here she sees first-hand the effects Alzheimer’s has not only on the patient, but also the family members. She works closely with many families on a daily basis helping them figure out appropriate care, counseling, and daily living plans focused around Alzheimer care.
This will be Sarah’s 2nd year dancing as a pro with us, and although she has been a wife and mom of two, Tony Jr. 10 and Allyson 5, for the last decade, she can’t resist dancing again for such a great cause and is extremely proud of how far her hometown has come in the research and development on the Alzheimer’s Disease.

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 PRO Tracie Chamblee and STAR Matt Keller

Tracie is a native of Hamilton, GA.  She graduated from Harris County High School in 1998 and Columbus State University in 2003 with a Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Science.

Tracie began dancing at the age of 5 and has continued throughout her adult years.  She began competing with Cottrell Dance Studio in Columbus at age of 10, being one of the youngest competitors to represent the studio at that time.  She competed through high school and into college.

During her years at Columbus State,  she was a member of the dance team that won the conference championship two years in a row.  She performed two years at the College Dance Team National Championships in Orlanda, representing Columbus State.

Tracie has performed witht he Moscow Russian Ballet, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and two Orange Bowls featuring Jon Secada and Gladys Knight.  She has been an assistant and an instructor at Cottrell Dance Studio since her high school years.

She currently teaches ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical, with a passion for tap.

Tracie is also currently the dance coach at Ultimate Youth Sports.

This is Tracie's third year as a PRO for Dancing Stars of Columbus.  She has a personal connection with Alzheimer's, losing both of her grandmothers to the disease.  She is honored to be participating in such a wonderful cause and hopes that because of our fundraising and research we can finally put an end to this devasting disease.

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 PRO Jeremy Auestad and STAR ChaCha Parmer

Born in Tucson, AZ, Jeremy considers his hometown to be Columbus.  He attended Brookstone School from kindergarten until graduation in 1998.  He holds a BA in Marketing from Columbus State University.  Jeremy has spent the last four years in West Palm Beach, FL working in construction management.  Previously, he spent eight years in Orange County, CA at an online tech-startup.  While his choreographed dancing experience is limited to high school musicals and productions - that doesn't mean he can't still cut a rug.  When he's not dancing, Jeremy spends his free time on the golf course, at the beach, and with his dog, Steve.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, Jeremy was called on in the eleventh-hour to be his mother's dance partner in this year's competition.  He is certainly up for the challenge!

Jeremy is also dancing for his childhood nanny, Gracie Mae Jackson.  Gracie passed away from Alzheimer's Disease in 1998.