Eastern Michigan University’s Dancing with the Stars, the final event for the Wellness Center’s Mental Health Awareness Week, debuted Monday in the Student Center Ballroom with a turnout of over 250 attendees when only 50 were expected.
Students spilled out into the lobby as more and more chairs had to be brought in for seating.
The winning dance pair was EMU Student Body President Matthew Norfleet and student Ashley Craig. Runners-up were Assistant EMU Vice President of Student Well-Being Ellen Gold and Counseling and Psychological Service’s staff psychologist Oscar Alcaine. Both the judges and contestants participated on a volunteer basis.
EMU senior Alicia Douglas, president of the Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, served as director for the event.
“It was an outlet to show people that you can take a break from things and dance or be actively involved to take away the stress of everyday life,” she said. “This was the first time the Wellness Center had put together an event this large. Event planning played a huge role and made everything look beautiful.”
Douglas worked with Health Promotion and Human Performance faculty member Suzanne Zelnik-Geldys to put Dancing with the Stars together.
Eric Ward, program coordinator in the Wellness Center, explained the significance of Zelnik-Geldys’ efforts and contributions to making the event a success.
“The Wellness Center did champion it, but Suzanne was essential to make it happen,” he said. “She brought dancers in [and] arranged things. Alicia did a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff to make everything work, but it wouldn’t have happened without her help as well. I think we’ll definitely do this again; people even came up and asked if they can be dancers next year.”
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