Tacoma Musical Playhouse is using the popularity of ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" to hone in on extra funds for the non-profit organization.
On Sept. 26, "Dancing with The Tacoma Stars" will present ballroom dance competitions featuring a handful of Tacoma "stars" including State Senator Debbie Regala, Congressman Adam Smith and Lakewood Mayor Doug Richardson.
The "stars" have been practicing for weeks with their professional dance partners to cultivate their moves, which they will perform live in front of up to 500 people at the Temple Theater's ballroom.
"This is going to be great fun to watch - they've crammed to learn something new and out of their element," Natasha Thayer, professional dancer and owner of event partner Studio 6 Ballroom, said. "These guys are very brave. It should be an exciting performance."
The eight contestants will be vying for the best men's and women's titles, as well as people's choice. A line-up of judges will include both "celebrity judges" such as former Superior Court Judge Karen Seinfeld, and ballroom dancing experts. Judges will score on a combination of factors, from the technical aspects of dance and form, to stage presence and performance quality.
"It's going to be a really fun event, it's very unique," Diana George, creative director for Tacoma Musical Playhouse, said.
The dancing competition will be backed with contestant interviews, as well as practice clips and blooper reels.
After the contest, audience members will be able to get out on the dance floor to the swinging sound of Maia Santell and House Blend.
"Maia Santell and House Blend are a great band," Thayer said. "They're wonderful for people who love to dance already and great for those who don't know what they're doing, or for those who want to sit and listen."
Professional dancers from Studio 6 Ballroom will be on hand with tips for dancers on the dos and don'ts of ballroom dancing.
Tickets are $35, and audience members can vote in the people's choice category for $1. All proceeds benefit the Tacoma Musical Playhouse.
The event takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 26 at The Landmark Convention Center Temple Theatre Ballroom, 47 Saint Helens Ave. Visit www.tmp.org for ticket information, or call (253) 565-6867.