Michael Moreno swings his way to win Dancing with the Graham County Stars

Safford – The second annual, “Dancing with the Gila Valley Stars,” took the stage at the David M. Player Center for the Arts Saturday night. Dorothy Stinson School principal, Michael Moreno, took the trophy for dancing the swing to the theme song from “Happy Days.”

From Left: M.C. Mark Lowes, Tabetha Aranda, Bannon Frank, Dani Gerding, Horatio Skeete, Heidi Torrio, Alex Galvan, Bailey Steffen, Shane Hawkins, Jenna Ferrin, Gary Knox-Derry, Chloe Elstone, Michael Moreno

This year’s show was based on television shows and the contestants dressed the part of the TV show theme that they danced to. The contestants raised money for a charity of their choice, and raised nearly $5,000. Jenna Ferrin won the award for raising the most money. Her charity was the Ronald McDonald House in Tucson.

Judges for this year’s competition were David Bell, Mikayla Cope and Joe Goodman. While the judges scored the dancers on their performances, it was the audience votes that decided the winner of the competition.

Each local contestant danced with one of the professional dancers from the visiting troup. The show started off with Tabetha Aranda and her partner dancing a foxtrot to the theme from the TV show, “Bewitched.” Safford City manager, Horatio Skeet and partner danced the Cha Cha to the theme from “Baywatch.” Heidi Torrio performed a waltz to “I Dream of Jeannie.” Shane Hawkins and partner danced the polka to the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song. Jenna Ferrin and partner did the quickstep to the theme song from the “Fintstones,” the final contestant, Michael Moreno, and partner swing danced to the theme song from “Happy Days.”

During the intermission, the audience cast their votes and submitted them in the lobby. Charitable donations were also being accepted in the lobby. After intermission the professional dancers performed seven dances, all with TV or movie themes, ending with a dance to the theme song from the movie, “Footloose.”

Shane Hawkins was the runner up, for his portrayal of Gilligan and polka performance. The M.C. for the show said the difference between first and second place was a matter of seven votes. Other than winning the competition, Michael Moreno had another reason to celebrate: It was his birthday.

  • Bewitched
    Tabetha Aranda and Bannon Frank
  • Baywatch
    Horatio Skeete and Dani Gerding
  • I Dream of Jeannie
    I Dream of Jeannie
    Heidi Torrio and Alex Galvan
  • Gilligan's Island
    Gilligan's Island
    Shane Hawkins and Bailey Steffen
  • The Flintstones
    The Flintstones
    Jenna Ferrin and Gary Knox-Derry
  • Happy Days
    Happy Days
    Michael Moreno and Chloe Elstone