Center for the Arts Dancing with Our Stars: Judging the judges? |

Center for the Arts Dancing with Our Stars: Judging the judges?

We have learned a lot about the dance partner competitors for the Dancing With Our Stars fundraiser for The Center for the Arts. But it is about time to check out the caliber of the judges panel that will be giving thumbs up or down to those very dancers. With such great dancers, it’s only fittin’ that we assemble a panel of the best of the best judges, right? After all, they are an important part of the evenings’ entertainment. So without further delay, here are your judges: Lorraine Gervais, Tresa Honaker, and Steve Hytner.

Lorraine Gervais has a long history with The Center for the Arts. Her commitment goes bone-deep. In the past week alone, she performed her Motown & Soul Revue on Friday and Saturday nights. On Monday night she headed up the Music Mentor Program, presiding over the Community Jam. She is a talented singer and performer recently appearing as the opening act for Bill Cosby back on July 5th.

Gevais is an in-demand performer with a voice described as, “Soulful, strong and bluesy.” And boy, can she deliver a song with heart that connects with an audience. That is why she has all the fans. And because of her command of the stage, and strong performance skills, we thought she would bring a certain insight to the judging panel.

Gervais explains what she is looking for the evening of the competition, “After meeting all the dancers, I know they’re all tremendously courageous and enthusiastic. I can’t wait to see what they are going to do out there on the dance floor! The things that I’m really looking for are style, attitude and ‘fabulousness’- all the things I know they already have ,so it’s going to be tough to pick a winner!”

The second member of the judging panel is Tresa Honaker. She received formal dance training in classical ballet, jazz and modern dance. Honaker has studied with prestigious dance groups and amassed extensive professional experience. She is one of the founding members of Movement Alliance Dance Company, and is the Founder and Artistic Director of AirAligned, aerial dance group and AirAligned Youth Performance Group. She continues to choreograph and perform throughout the United States for corporate, private and commercial events.

Aerial performances are beautiful to behold, but are not without risk. She was injured during an aerial rehearsal sustaining a T9 SCI injury from a 15 foot fall and is currently paralyzed from the waist down. Tresa is still actively teaching and choreographing. As Artistic Director of AirAligned, she has arranged for a special combination performance with the AXIS Dance Group of Oakland. The fundraiser event will be Sept. 15 at Miners Foundry.

Rounding out the panel is last, but heck-no, not least, Steve Hytner. He is sure to add provide special color commentary and big laughs for the audience. He is an accomplished comedian, with to many to mention, television and movie credits. Yes, you have seen him in a recurrent role on the mega-hit TV comedy, Seinfield.

Hytner is a recent transplant to our community. Even so, we were lucky to land him for our event. He has a professional resume as tall as the man himself, and recently was the opening act for the comedian, Paul Reiser. And he nailed it, of course. Makes you wonder, which came first? Was his performance here at The Center for the Arts that made him fall in love with our community? Or did he fall for the area, then decide to grace our stage with his talent? Hmmm.

So there is the panel. We feel we have assembled just the right mix of talent and we know they are up to the challenge of entertaining us for the evening. They are excited to see what the dancers have prepared of us, and to choose which couple will take home the mirror ball trophy for ‘Best Dancer’ at the First Annual Dancing With Our Stars competition!

Do join the fun and let these wonderful local celebrities and their pro dancers entertain you. It promises to be a lot of fun–what a great way to support The Center for the Arts!

Dancing With Our Stars will be Aug. 23 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium. Show starts at 8 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m. Ticket prices begin at $25 general admission and are available on line at or by calling the box office: 274-8384, ext 14.


Photo credit goes to John Taber.

Lorraine Gervais performing her Motown & Soul Revue this past weekend at The Center for the Arts. She is one of the three judges for Dancing With Our Stars competition.

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