Reprinted with permission from East Bay Times
By PAUL KILDUFF | Correspondent
LIVERMORE — After 13 years the formula for the popular TV show “Dancing with the Stars” is well known — team up celebrities with a competition-level ball room dancer, have them learn a few routines and then watch the sparks fly as the duos compete for the coveted mirror ball trophy — pretty heady stuff.
Now this proven format is coming to the Tri-Valley featuring local celebrities in the upcoming “Dancing with the Tri-Valley All Stars” set for May 12 at the Livermore Performing Arts Center’s (LVPAC) Bankhead Theater.
With just one week to prepare with their partners from the Utah Ballroom Dance Company, the local celebs will have to not just be light on their feet but versatile as well. That’s because they won’t know if they’ll have to foxtrot, tango, rumba or cha cha until their professional partners arrive. Talk about sitting on pins and needles.
With this in mind Livermore’s Dave Lewis, an NBC news radio sports anchor heard on stations across the country, isn’t leaving anything to chance. Not only is he taking lessons at Livermore’s Arthur Murray dance studio, he’s also got a coach — Pleasanton dance teacher Jill Breckenridge, a professional hoofer in her own right.
Lewis, who says he couldn’t do a decent first dance at his own wedding, is no stranger to prepping for a dance performance. At his last high school reunion he practiced break dancing on cardboard and performed admirably for his classmates.
“It was an hour of high-fives followed by a week of chiropractic treatment,” says Lewis who also acts in indie films and was the KCBS night time sports guy for 21 years until 2017.
While Lewis insists he’s got the least amount of dance experience of any of the contestants, he’s making up for it by doing his homework. Instead of watching ESPN one night recently he took in the iconic ’80s dance film “Dirty Dancing.” What did he learn? “You don’t ever put baby in a corner,” says Lewis reciting lead Patrick Swayze’s line from the movie’s ending where Swayze takes his dance partner, “Baby” (Jennifer Grey), from a corner seat at a table where she’s been been banished because her parents are mad at her. The two then go on to dance their hearts out in the epic closing scene to the song “(I Had) The Time of My Life,” one Lewis has watched at least 100 times. Talk about dedication.
Another motivating factor for Lewis not to embarrass himself is that his son has threatened to put his performance on YouTube. “I’m 100 percent sure he’s going to do it.”
Fellow all star KPIX anchor Juliette Goodrich represents the other end of the spectrum when it comes to prepping for the show. She plans to give it her best shot with only the week of dance instruction provided and says she’s “not worried.”
Pleasanton resident Goodrich, who got her start doing the Interstate 580/680 news on Tri-Valley Community Television before working at other stations throughout Northern California, landed at KPIX 20 years ago. Her only request is to be teamed up with someone with whom she can see eye to eye.
“I just want someone tall. That’s all I want,” says Goodrich, who grew up in Pleasanton.
Used to working under tight deadlines, Goodrich isn’t fazed by not knowing what to expect.
“I’m just going to go for it,” says the karate black belt and horseback rider.
To participate, she’ll take a night off the anchor desk, something KPIX brass encouraged her to do. Others who want to see her strut her stuff are her three kids.
“Mom, you’ve got to do this,” they said when she was approached about being in the show.
After the all stars and their partners perform the Utah ball-roomers will take the stage. Video outtakes of the all stars learning their routines will also be shown. Afterwards, the judges and audience members will decide the winner.
Other Tri-Valley all stars in the mix for the event include KKIQ radio personality and comedian Faith Alpher, Pleasanton Councilwoman Karla Brown, Livermore Councilman Bob Carling and former Livermore police officer-turned-real-estate-mogul Mony Nop, who has declared on Facebook that the mirror ball is his.If you go:
The curtain goes up on “Dancing with the Tri-Valley All Stars” at 8 p.m. May 12 in the Bankhead Theater, 2400 First St. in Livermore. For tickets and more information visit LVPAC’s website at www.lvpac.org.