Champions v. Challengers: DWYS

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Klamath Falls, Ore. – This year, the last one for Dancing With Your Klamath Falls Stars, former champions compete against unknown challengers for the last mirror ball trophy. The competition begins and ends, Friday, April 20, 2018 beginning at 7:30pm on the Ross Ragland Theater stage.

Returning champions include Tony “AJ” Halda, Kelley Minty-Morris and Police Chief Dave Henslee. Halda, owner of Ken’s Auto Body, was crowned first winner of DWYS in 2013 with Minty-Morris was a close second in year one before becoming a Klamath County Commissioner. City of Klamath Police Chief Henslee was last year’s winner of the event.

The three champions, because they were either first or second place winners, are coming back to compete for the final grand champion trophy. This year, however, the Ragland added a twist… to truly test the former champions’ mettle, they are bringing an unknown element to the competition. Three additional competitors will help to push the limits of this event. The challengers will be April LaGasse with Century 21, Cassie Shillinglaw representing Lithia Toyota and Manuela Pascual, ballroom dance instructor at various studios in town. Ms. Pascual may be familiar to those who have been at Dancing With Your Klamath Falls Stars. She is trading in her judge’s slot for a chance to show everyone what she’s got as a competitor. Dancers will once again be competing for a $500 donation to their favorite local charity.

“We wanted to do something different with Dancing With Your Stars this year,” said Mark McCrary, Executive Director of the Ross Ragland Theater, “The competition will be a bit fiercer with our champions coming back and competing with some unknown talent… the judges should have a good time with this event.” Judges slated to offer feedback include Rod Kucera, returning judge and owner of Mia and Pia’s Pizzeria and Brewhouse, Debra Gisriel, owner of Fisher-Nicholson Realty and 2017 runner-up Jesse Dubose.

“As a past judge and now former competitor (2017), I feel like I have a different perspective than ever before,” replied Kucera when asked about judging again this year. Mia and Pia’s is also helping to sponsor the award to the winner’s chosen charity. Manuela Pascual has been judging the competition since its beginning. Her thoughts about judging her now as a competitor she states “Judges should be looking for partner relationship, musicality, and enjoyment… at the least; I want to keep both the audience and the judges interested and make them feel that they have enjoyed the performance.”

The public will have the opportunity to vote either by paper or text messaging. Every vote will be $1 after the first vote. Interested voters simply need to send a text message to 541-204-2201 with the amount you want to donate followed by a space then the name of the person you are voting for. Example 1(space) Mark would register 1 vote for Mark.

Tickets for the event range from $23-$54 before transaction fees.  Student, Senior and Military discounts available.  Additionally rush tickets are available for KCC and Oregon Tech students.

The 2017-18 performance season is sponsored by KLAD, Big 98.5, Sunny 107, The Eagle, Forward Vision Media, Herald and News, Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment of the Arts. This show is co-sponsored by Mia & Pia’s Pizzeria and Brewhouse

The Ross Ragland Theater’s mission is to provide high-quality performing arts and educational experiences that enhance community life in the Klamath Basin.  The Ross Ragland Theater is located at 218 North 7th Street in Klamath Falls. Telephone 541-884-LIVE (5483) for ticket information and reservations or visit the theater’s website at to purchase tickets online and learn more about the theater. The box office is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and two hours prior to show time the day of any weekend show.

Press release provided from The Ross Ragland Theater.